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Adventures in Nochet, Esrolia


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Hello everybody.

New here on the RQ forum (and in the world of Glorantha).

I read a bit about the setting and the regions, and I wonder if Nochet would be a good choice to start a beginner's campaign. If so, are there sourcebooks and (mainly) adventures that take place in that city?


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1 hour ago, JeffDonizetti said:

if Nochet would be a good choice to start a beginner's campaign. If so, are there sourcebooks and (mainly) adventures that take place in that city?

If you like urban adventures then yes, that is certainly a possibility, but you'll have to do some work to define setting details and develop scenarios.

As @Ialda noted, though, there are no currently available sourcebooks or adventures for Nochet.

The notes mentioned for Nochet on the Well of Daliath site includes my map of the city and some basic overview of the city's districts. I am working towards getting my Index for the map out via the Jonstown Compendium (hopefully in the next month or so).

There is also an Esrolia/Nochet sourcebook in the works for Chaosium, but to my understanding that is still a fair ways off.

One of the Stafford Library references, Esrolia, Land of 10000 Goddesses provides mythic/historical background on Nochet: Esrolia Land of 10k goddesses

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My current game takes place in and around Nochet. It's a big city with so many details, so I began he characters as kids in a wealthy House and let them explore the aspects that interested them. Now that they are young adults, we're having a great time!

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Since Nochet is the largest metropolis in Genertela and so cosmopolitan, I imagine that the potential for adventures is immense, perhaps even bringing together groups of heroes from different origins... I was even surprised that we don't (yet) have supplements dealing with this city.

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Hi @JeffDonizetti, welcome to Glorantha!

I’ve been working with a couple of co-authors on a resource to support adventures in Esrolia, including descriptions and adventure seeds for each of the different neighbourhoods of Nochet, and though it won’t be ready for a while yet I’m happy to share some thoughts if that would be useful.

We’ve made heavy use of the brilliant material by Harald Smith (@jajagappa), including the map and neighbourhood notes that @Ialda highlighted and a summary of the profiles if the Nochet Enfranchised Houses that was posted a while back on this Forum, so it’s fantastic news that his detailed index to the city may be out soon - that should be a really valuable resource.

How you approach Nochet will depend on whether the adventurers are from there or not.

If they’re outsiders, you can have them be recent arrivals getting off the boat and starting to explore around the dock areas - of which there are several, but the neighbourhood of Helamta as described by Harald in that Well of Daliath article is probably the best starting place. Because Helamta is the least ‘Esrolian’ neighbourhood you don’t have to worry so much about Great House politics, Earth worship as the centre of social life, etc. Instead you can use tropes to which your players can relate from the ‘generic fantasy port city’ genre - lean into the colourful chaos, the babel of different tongues, the exotic goods being unloaded and taken to the Great Market, the gangs of street urchins hustling recent arrivals, the shady characters talking in the back room of the inn, etc. There is an old but still evocative description by Chaosium’s Mike O’Brien (@MOB) on the Well of Daliath here. Because Helamta has people from all over Glorantha the adventurers can easily find people from their Homelands there to act as NPC guides, patrons, etc. (though if they are Sartarites they are likely to feel more at home in the Heortling-dominated neighbourhood of Sarli).

If you want to start your characters as Nochet natives, then @Tianlong’s approach of having them begin as kids is a great way to ease them into the cultural and political complexity of the city. For helping new players get a handle on the matriarchal politics of Nochet’s Great Houses I find the most useful reference to be the HBO series ‘Rome’; the scenes set around the feuding characters Atia of the Julii and Servilia of the Junii are great for evoking the general atmosphere of Nochet as well as providing a source of ideas for how adventurers may get embroiled via being hired as muscle, used to spy on or kidnap political rivals, etc. Harald and others have compared the Grandmothers of the Great Houses to the Godfathers of powerful mafia families, and you can find useful ideas for developing crime-and-skulduggery type adventures in the thread on criminal organisations highlighted by @Erol of Backford above.

If you want a middle way approach, you can have your adventurers be Esrolians but not from Nochet. This means they will have no problem with the language or general Customs but could still be ‘hicks from the sticks’ discovering the Big City for the first time. This allows you to start small with a few random encounter type adventures around the neighbourhood where they are based (if you can get hold of the old RuneQuest 3 resource book Cities, that is great for generating random urban encounters) and then expand into more complex/political storylines.

To give them a way in to the politics as well as a base in Nochet, you could have the party come to the Big City on a mission for one of the Great Houses of their home city. You will need to think about their home City and House (Esrolian equivalents of the Tribe and Clan for Sartarites) to give a background for their reason for being in Nochet, including the Alliance (Sartar-aligned Old Earth, Lunar-aligned Red Earth or Rhigos-led Warm Earth) to which their home House may belong. As an example, Austin Conrad (@Crel) has been developing some great material for the City of Sylthi (in North Esrolia a couple of days’ journey from Nochet) that includes background on the local Houses and their Alliance membership - check out the Sylthi section of his ‘Akhelas’ website. In our Esrolia campaign our adventurers were from different cities (Dizbos and Ezel) so we used some of the places marked as ‘Hall’ (rather than ‘House’) on Harald’s map as the Nochet bases of the Great Houses from those cities - kind of a mixture of embassy, trade office, mercenary recruiting centre and guest house. This gave the adventurers a way in to a particular neighbourhood as well as a link with Nochet Houses (via the Alliances).

For general Esrolian character creation, whether the adventurers are from Nochet or another city, you may find this resource from our forthcoming Esrolia material useful. It allows you to start with the kind of character they want their adventurer to be (beginning with their Occupation) and suggests a cultural tradition to which their House belongs that is a good fit for this - and this in turn gives them specific skills bonuses, knowledge of or veneration for particular Goddesses etc.

Enjoy your time in Nochet!

Esrolian Cultural Traditions in character creation – by Occupation (rev).pdf

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