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Mostali Mytho-Tech ... ?


g33k

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So. the Dwarves invented "iron" -- not "discovered" it as an ore, but "invented" it; presumably, a Heroquest (or more than one) was involved.  Any details (and in which book(s)) as to the process for creating iron in Glorantha?

Also:  in at least some supplements, I understand, Dwarves have guns of some description.  Is that muzzle-load, breach-load, or...?  Personal weapons (rifles, pistols) or only canon/artillery pieces, or both?   Etc...

What other "mytho-tech" do Dwarves possess that others don't (or at least, that Dwarves created, even if the "secret" has spread)?

 

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2 hours ago, g33k said:

Also:  in at least some supplements, I understand, Dwarves have guns of some description.  Is that muzzle-load, breach-load, or...?  Personal weapons (rifles, pistols) or only canon/artillery pieces, or both?   Etc...

 

Flintlock muskets; the Dwarf of Dwarf Mine has cannon.

2 hours ago, g33k said:

So. the Dwarves invented "iron" -- not "discovered" it as an ore, but "invented" it; presumably, a Heroquest (or more than one) was involved.  Any details (and in which book(s)) as to the process for creating iron in Glorantha?

 

It's a secret of Dwarf alchemy, made more mysterious by the fact that iron is also mined.

 

2 hours ago, g33k said:

What other "mytho-tech" do Dwarves possess that others don't (or at least, that Dwarves created, even if the "secret" has spread)?

 

Disorder mini-kegs, steam tech and dwarf constructs such as Jolanti (stone servants) and Nilmergs, semi-intelligent servitors. They have some, gremlins and gobblers, which are programmed to seek out and destroy any substances (such as gun-powder) that dwarves consider they have the intellectual property rights for. Whilst humans have purchased (at great cost) or stolen Dwarf secrets, it is apparent that most of their techno-magic are unknown to humans.

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The first port of call for all of this is the Guide to Glorantha, if you don't have it the PDFs is available. It covers iron, the evolution of muskets, the cannon cult, the alchemical transformer, disorder kegs based on bowling balls and fuses, steam cannon, lava stuff, etc.

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They are not direct analogies for the 'gadgeteer dwarves'  from Warhammer Fantasy's Old World, or 'tinkerer gnomes' from D&D's Forgotten Realms or Eberron. However that is kind of their role at times.

All of the Elder Races are truly alien to humankind, including the Mostali, which are more like something out of Brian Froud's imagination, even 'goblinoid' at times, and also quite primal at other times. The Guide To Glorantha really drives this home with how the artwork depicts the Mostali, and the chapter concerning them has some great content.

Their creations are unusual and weird, I think mytho-tech is quite an appropriate term

Edited by Mankcam

" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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Mostali are an intriguing idea. Their motivations seem so alien to humans, which is great but also a double edge sword, in that they can feel inaccessible. Particulary for the majority who are used to the stereotype from Tolkien. 

What suggestions would people give for roleplaying them? With such alien motivations how would you incorporate them into a "party" of adventurers? 

Is it conceivable that they could join a cult other then mostal, or is that too unthinkable? 

 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp
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1 hour ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Mostali are an intriguing idea. Their motivations seem so alien to humans, which is great but also a double edge sword, in that they can feel inaccessible. Particulary for the majority who are used to the stereotype from Tolkien. 

What suggestions would people give for roleplaying them? With such alien motivations how would you incorporate them into a "party" of adventurers? 

Personally, I wouldn't unless the player was deeply into Glorantha already and had a very cool concept. Everything that is interesting about them is at odds with having them wandering around adventuring with a typical adventure party. 

I know the setting has outcast, individualist Mostali that do wander off in search of adventure, but that just feels tacked onto the setting to give people an excuse to play Mostali as people with a different stat build. 

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29 minutes ago, Baulderstone said:

Personally, I wouldn't unless the player was deeply into Glorantha already and had a very cool concept. Everything that is interesting about them is at odds with having them wandering around adventuring with a typical adventure party. 

I know the setting has outcast, individualist Mostali that do wander off in search of adventure, but that just feels tacked onto the setting to give people an excuse to play Mostali as people with a different stat build. 

Yes that was my feeling too. I'm not read well up on them at present, but remember reading the rq3 elder secrets box a long time ago, and wondering how on earth I was going to use them. The presentation of the Avalon hill box set was so bad that it put me off trying.

Wasn't there some less alien conception of the mostali in Pavis, with the flintnail cult?

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1 minute ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

Yes that was my feeling too. I'm not read well up on them at present, but remember reading the rq3 elder secrets box a long time ago, and wondering how on earth I was going to use them.

I'm not actually saying they don't have a use in the setting. I think they make great NPCs, if used sparingly. I'd just be very wary of opening them up for players to use, more so than the other Elder Races. 

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Mostali as player characters are difficult to cater for if you want to play them as in-culture, functional parts of the world machine. Playing them in Paranoia-style one-off games is possible, and fun, and you could do an anthology of such scenarios, but then you could do slapstick stuff for any other Gloranthan culture, too.

I can see some scope for a different style of game where the players control entire enclaves or factions of Mostali decisionmakers and advance the Plan they have for the repair of the World Machine. Such a game might make a good strategical game, say a board game or a computer game. It may still retain elements of role-playing if the engine allows that. But playing an individual worker drone that is not in any way deviating from orthodoxy doesn't feel like fun. Playing a faction attempting to define the Plan of the Orthodoxy in the face of developments in the world changing some of the frame the plan was supposed to work in could be rewarding.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Many gaming settings have fluff describing the alien or antisocial qualities of races, societies, or religions (or classes, if a part of that game). Some seem to delight in it, and then in providing all the info you need to use them for your player characters. There's a fundamental dichotomy between a writer trying to work up something extremely new and different, and a player looking for something new and fun to use in the group-based games we play. Many cultures and races are described as intolerant of this or that, but when it comes time to roll up characters, hey, off we go. Frex, Praxian nomads are often described as intolerant, violent, ignorant savages who never get off their mounts. But we play them, and in our habitual mixed parties. My point is that it's simple enough to ignore the fluff that would make a PC unplayable. Murderous grudges can be whittled down to Legolas/Gimli snarking, for the sake of playability. Heck, I've seen really obnoxious players taking every chance to antagonize fellow players, with no particular cultural background to justify it, and watched PvP ensue. But obviously, most members of a culture are steeped in their ways, and see their place in life as it has been defined for them. Modify as necessary for the PCs who must, in all cases, be the exception to that rule.

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@Baron: The difficult thing to do with orthodox Mostali is to give them meaningful motivations that makes playing an ace-of-a-single-trade worth the while. Playing a broken dwarf doesn't require any background info at all, except for "the only thing you used to be good for and good at was X, but now you were forced to leave your people you are free to do whatever you want, and frankly, that scares you - what do you want?"

Add a few cool gadgets (like a limestone grinder for de-flavoring grown food - think parmesan grinders) and lots of nonsensical ones that were necessary for the job you no longer do. Maybe an animated stone pet for company.

From here on, we get into slapstick territory. Like, if there's a Yelmalian in gilt plate armor, report to him for your work shifts, and also report off shift. Best during the night when that character tries to sleep, or report off-shift in the middle of some action. Be over helpful, maybe like one of the minions. React in inappropriate ways to threats, demands, or friendly overtures, ideally by ignoring the interaction or pointing people to your foreman (the character displaying the most gold/gilt). Complain about the stringent taste of even the blandest food, but then eat a bowl of salt with a withered sprig of parsley for decoration, and go into lengthy poetic descriptions about the subtle notes caused by the mineral impurities.

In short, be a useless comic relief sidekick except when your speciality comes up.

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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12 hours ago, g33k said:

Thanks all!  I will be getting GtG via the recent Kickstarter, and hardcopies when the reprints come out.

In the meantime, the above material is an excellent framework for me!

You should have already gotten the download email from BackerKit. If you didn't, go to backerKit and you can download the GtG PDFs. They were made available several weeks ago.

Edited by Rick Meints

Hope that Helps,
Rick Meints - Chaosium, Inc.

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11 minutes ago, Joerg said:

@Baron: The difficult thing to do with orthodox Mostali is to give them meaningful motivations that makes playing an ace-of-a-single-trade worth the while. Playing a broken dwarf doesn't require any background info at all, except for "the only thing you used to be good for and good at was X, but now you were forced to leave your people you are free to do whatever you want, and frankly, that scares you - what do you want?"

Add a few cool gadgets (like a limestone grinder for de-flavoring grown food - think parmesan grinders) and lots of nonsensical ones that were necessary for the job you no longer do. Maybe an animated stone pet for company.

From here on, we get into slapstick territory. Like, if there's a Yelmalian in gilt plate armor, report to him for your work shifts, and also report off shift. Best during the night when that character tries to sleep, or report off-shift in the middle of some action. Be over helpful, maybe like one of the minions. React in inappropriate ways to threats, demands, or friendly overtures, ideally by ignoring the interaction or pointing people to your foreman (the character displaying the most gold/gilt). Complain about the stringent taste of even the blandest food, but then eat a bowl of salt with a withered sprig of parsley for decoration, and go into lengthy poetic descriptions about the subtle notes caused by the mineral impurities.

In short, be a useless comic relief sidekick except when your speciality comes up.

 

Great, I like these ideas. Colourful, that's starting to bring them to life as a possible player character, and still retaining the orthodox mostali idea. 

So if we're talking motivation for an adventuring dwarf, that's a good place to start. 

 

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I quite like the idea of the dwarf as an eccentric inventor. Tinkering with unusual technology. A clockwork watch that measures time itself. A companion like the clockwork owl in clash of the Titans, that needs a bit of maintenance every now and then. Perhaps an expert on lenses, useful for powerful telescopes, and fixing bad eye sight? 

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41 minutes ago, Paid a bod yn dwp said:

 

I quite like the idea of the dwarf as an eccentric inventor. Tinkering with unusual technology. A clockwork watch that measures time itself. A companion like the clockwork owl in clash of the Titans, that needs a bit of maintenance every now and then. Perhaps an expert on lenses, useful for powerful telescopes, and fixing bad eye sight? 

There's a Mostali walking drinks dispenser in my Prax game. A little copper man that vents steam and gives up drams of firewater from his finger. My players broke it.

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35 minutes ago, Iskallor said:

There's a Mostali walking drinks dispenser in my Prax game. A little copper man that vents steam and gives up drams of firewater from his finger. My players broke it.

Ha ha great eccentric flavour. I like it. From these posts it's apparent there's a lot of possibilities for injecting eccentric fun into the game with the mostali and their inventions. Which wasn't the impression I had after reading RQ3 elder secrets way back when. They seemed like anything but fun after reading that, however that could also have been a failing of my imagination back then. 

Edited by Paid a bod yn dwp
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