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Roko Joko

1 man in 100 equals 10

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Here are two ideas for Glorantha:
  1. "One man in a hundred achieves mastery"
  2. "One master equals ten men"
They can be taken abstractly, but I'll use concepts from HQ1 to describe them, and the second idea can be applied to game rules.
 

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One man in a hundred achieves mastery

This is a simple model that describes how many heroic people are in Glorantha.  It abstracts a person to a number that represents something along the lines of the level of their highest HQ ability, on the HQ1 scale.  I'm noncommittal as to whether that would include HQ relationship abilities, but the idea is that it refers to personal heroic power, not political or economic power unless that power is directly tied into the person's heroism.  Don't take the abstraction too seriously: it's just a model, for a specific purpose.  The 3rd column means, "1 in X adults are at this level or higher."  The main idea is that for people with any given best-ability level, 1 in 100 have their best ability at least one mastery higher.

10w0    9 in ___,___,_10    novice
00w1    9 in ___,___,_10    professional    (9 in 10 adults are novices or professionals)
10w1    1 in ___,___,_10    master
00w2    1 in ___,___,100    master
10w2    1 in ___,__1,000    champion
00w3    1 in ___,_10,000    champion
10w3    1 in ___,100,000    hero
00w4    1 in __1,000,000    hero
10w4    1 in _10,000,000    superhero
00w5    1 in 100,000,000    superhero

You can use this to answer questions like "how many powerful people are around here?"  Here are some answers, using the standard Glorantha assumption that 50% of the population is children, and taking "people" to mean beings with the man rune, in the Middle World.  It includes all man-rune Elder Races, and all runes or heroic specialities - farming, everything.  

* Sartar clan: 1.2K people => 600 adults => 60 masters at 10w+; 6 masters at w2+; maybe a 10w2 champion.
* all of Sartar: 125K people => 60 champions, maybe a hero.
* Dragon Pass: 1.5M people => 8 heroes.   (To taste, add the "DP has many heroes" idea to this.)
* Lunar Empire: 15M people => 80 heroes and a superhero.
* Genertela: 55M people => probably a few superheroes.
* Glorantha: 120M people => probably a few more superheroes.

It's mostly a nice clean exponential scale, but at the very top end, YGWV: at that level many people are immortal, and not exactly "people" any more.   And at the bottom end, I'd editorialize that are plenty of people with their best ability above 0w1 - at least 1/4 of the 9-in-10 adult population has it with an average of 5w1.

The words champion, hero, etc aren't perfect descriptors, and I'm not trying to state an exact meaning for them.  The idea of a "clan champion" probably extends down into what I called "master" in the table, for example.  But they are pretty consistent with the HQ1 book, and with comments that Greg made online, in the context of how to interpret HW/HQ1 ability levels, that he meant 10w3 to mean "hero" and 10w4 to mean "superhero".
 

Edited by Roko Joko

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One master equals ten men

The idea is that when you go up one mastery in an ability, you become the equal of a group of 10 people with one less mastery in the same ability (or an ability that could match yours in a contest).  It's just a general idea, and it's not mechanically detailed.  So for example, to use the idea in HQ house rules you would have to lay out exactly how relationship abilities and augments would play into it, and I'm not trying to do that here.

You can lay it out in a table similar to the above, but it's independent of the assumptions in that first table.

It represents a pretty powerful form of heroism: going up a little on the ability scale makes you a lot better.

It is very roughly in line with the probabilities in HQ Glorantha, with its "high roll wins ties" d20 mechanic.  Here's a very simplified analysis to show that.  Suppose you have a master at ability level 10w contesting a group of 10 people, each at ability level 10.  The master has a one-bump advantage.  Let's assume that the group wins if any one of them beats the master's bump, and that this will happen if and only if they crit.  The chance that none of them crits is 95% to the power of 10, which is about 60%.  60% is in the ballpark of 50%, which is what I'm trying to show.

It also get you in the ballpark of the mechanic in the Dragon Pass board game where Harrek (with his entourage) is the equal of four heavy infantry regiments (with their officers).  An article about that equivalence used to be online.

Edited by Roko Joko

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What really interests me about the second idea is its potential for running HQ1 group contests with any number of participants by abstracting groups into single entities.  Contests like,
* battles at any scale
* heroquesting contests with community support
* community-vs-community contests that aren't battles
Then, you can
* handle single contests, individual assists, group contests, and community support with the same mechanism
* run community-oriented stories with no "band of heroes" plot devices required.  If it makes sense for the whole fyrd to be there, they can be.
* put the wars back into the Hero Wars

The best idea I've had for that is the following outline for HQ1 house rules.  The only polished thing I have is an outline, and I want to present the idea concisely anyway.

First, simplify abilitiy levels from 20 levels per mastery to four levels per mastery.  (Alternatively, two levels per mastery could make it feel like Everyway or FATE depending how swingy you make contests.)  This has some consequences that I like (simpler numbers, simpler dice, more meaningful modifiers) but are unrelated to group contests.  To the point at hand, four levels per mastery makes the table that I'll describe in the next paragraph easy to memorize, and not call for a lot of fractions.

Make a table that applies the "one master equals ten men" exponential heroism scale to those ability levels by writing down a manpower for each ability level, corresponding to the number of average-0w1-people it's equivalent to.
level 1     05w0    manpower 0.2
level 2     10w0    manpower 0.3
level 3     15w0    manpower 0.6
level 4     00w1    manpower 1
level 5     05w1    manpower 2
level 6     10w1    manpower 3
level 7     15w1    manpower 6
level 8     00w2    manpower 10
level 9     05w2    manpower 20
level 10   10w2    manpower 30
etc.

Then you can abstract individuals into a group by:
1. get the ability level of each participant's contribution to the contest at hand, with any modifiers included.
2. convert it to a manpower.
3. add up the manpower contributed by each participant.
4. convert the group's total manpower back into an ability level, rounding off.
(Alternatively, use a contest mechanic that works directly in manpower.)

For example, 4 regiments and their officers in a melee might be:
4000 people contributing a level 4 ability (w), total manpower 4000x1 = 4000.
200 people contributing a level 7 ability (15w), total manpower 200x6 = 1200.
Total manpower = 5200, which rounds to 6000, the manpower of ability level 15 (15w3).

Then you have a lot of flexibility in running group contests.  If you want to run a group contest as a one-roll simple contest, you can.  Or if you want to only abstract some groups (the fyrd, say) and then use group contest rules, you can do that too.

Edited by Roko Joko

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54 minutes ago, Roko Joko said:

Don't take the abstraction too seriously: it's just a model, for a specific purpose.  

Sure, but no, let's take it seriously. The ideas were partly inspired by Dragon Pass and my desire for a clean way to use freeform HQ stat blocks in mass battles.  They put a bit of a wargaming spin on everything, which might or might not be what you want in a game.   They also feel hierarchical and socially elitist - they don't say it explicitly, but they feel like they suggest that heroism is the fated possession of an elite class rather than a more fluid and spiritual thing.

Also, they're community-friendly in the sense that a hero can get a bonus by teaming up with a community, but they show heroism as being a form of personal power, and don't speak to the idea of heroism being something that is done on behalf of a community.  I think a full set of rules would benefit from mechanics for social factors, like relationships, leadership or other abilities that promote team cohesion, or teamwork in a specific contest, that make the team-up mechanics work most effectively.

Edited by Roko Joko

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Its a nice model, but like all models its prone to deviation due to a number of factors;

Such as

  • Level of conflict in the society
  • Nature of magic in the society
  • The season of history
  • The whim of the Gods

And for these reasons in dragon pass as the hero wars start I think they are very conservative 

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