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Mostali Mytho-Tech ... ?


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Regarding the Elder Secrets descriptions, there is a big difference between the Clay Mostali (Dwarves) and the metal Mostali. Metal Mostali are pretty much to dwarves as Mistress Race Trolls are to trollkin.

Clay Mostali are the equivalent of humans, but created to serve the World Machine. Metal Mostali were also created, but in a different way, as they were formed from vats individually, I believe.

Even the different levels of Mostali are just very skilled/magical Clay Mostali, so Diamond Dwarves are Clay Mostali who have gained some of the powers of the Diamond Mostali.

What does this mean in practice?

Clay Mostali make good PCs, True (Metal) Mostali don't.

Dwarves (Clay Mostali) can be played as cogs in the machine, but I think that isn't the best way to play them. The true cogs wouldn't go out adventuring or leave the Mostali realms. Damaged cogs, slightly imbalanced cogs, free-wheeling cogs, they are the ones who go out and interact with other races. So, PC Dwarves are the unusual ones almost by default.

It makes some sense to have PC Dwarves coming from one of the heresies, Pavic Dwarves or Openhandists make sense as they are used to dealing with outsiders.

However, dwarven PCs might be on a secret mission, sent out into the world to achieve some things, which would make a good basis of a campaign.

 

 

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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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25 minutes ago, soltakss said:
25 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Regarding the Elder Secrets descriptions, there is a big difference between the Clay Mostali (Dwarves) and the metal Mostali. Metal Mostali are pretty much to dwarves as Mistress Race Trolls are to trollkin

 

 

 

Thanks for this. I had forgotten a lot of that. Which are the known mostali heretic sects? Are the pavic dwarfs heretics? 

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

 Which are the known mostali heretic sects? Are the pavic dwarfs heretics? 

Ginkizzie and his compatriots are Openhandist and Individualist, like their True Mostali founder, aka Isidilian, the Quicksilver Mostali of Dwarf Mine.

Apart from these two heresies (each of which works separate from the other just as well as in combination), there is Octamonism (denial of Iron and other modern ideas, interestingly including Clay Mostali while being practiced mainly by Clay Mostali), some Pamaltelan ones practice Vegetarianism (use of self-Grown stuff).

(Note that it was Openhandist Isidilian who had the entire plnder of Machine City placed under a huge army of dwarfs.)

 

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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A brief excerpt regarding dwarfs from the survey of one Galacrustus, sage of the Irripi Ontor temple, in a letter to Iridascius, Aide to Quinscion, His Most Excellent General of Procurement and Disbursement, Mirin’s Cross.

Dwarf Coins

Due to the regular Dwarf Market, the coins of dwarfs can be found in circulation in Imther, particularly in Hilltown and amongst the mountain clans.  The most common of these coins are called Circles (silver), Squares (copper), and Hexes (gold).  Other coins seen include lead triangles, brass pentagons, the very rare seametal heptagons, and tin octagons.  Each coin has a slight indentation along the outer rim to allow for easier stacking and a milled edge.  The coins have no pictures, instead being entirely marked by runes said to be in the dwarf tongue.  Supposedly one Circle that was translated read: “1.0000000 Prazcdat Silver .9999989 Purity 3rd Forge Arganum Master Berv 241,982 Work Cycle Preferred”.

Dwarfs carry these coins in specially crafted tin containers with fitted slots for each different shape.  Each slot has an upper and a lower section and a device that allows a dwarf to either transfer a coin from the upper to the lower section or out of the container altogether.  Dwarfs have been seen using these devices both in trade and in measuring.  The dwarfs also seem to use individual coins as weights, placing them on special balances during trade deals.  Dwarfs trade these coins exclusively in Hilltown for silt, sand, and clay hauled up from the Aryael and Silverstone Rivers (and sometimes even brought from as far away as the Oslir River!).  It is unknown why the dwarfs value these products so highly.

Dwarfs coins are highly prized by Imtherian merchants since they are hard to clip and quite pure.  All of them have a central hole and some clansmen string them onto necklaces or earrings as talismans against sorcerous magics.  Their dwarfish nature, though, prevents their use in magical ceremonies and folk go to great length to ensure that all such coins are carefully put aside to avoid bad luck.

 

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3 hours ago, soltakss said:

Dwarves (Clay Mostali) can be played as cogs in the machine, but I think that isn't the best way to play them. The true cogs wouldn't go out adventuring or leave the Mostali realms. Damaged cogs, slightly imbalanced cogs, free-wheeling cogs, they are the ones who go out and interact with other races. So, PC Dwarves are the unusual ones almost by default.

In my old Imther campaign, the one dwarf the PC's encountered might well have been considered broken.  He had arrived at the city of Hortugarth and been hidden away (for political reasons) by the PC's main patron.  But the dwarf was paranoid, convinced that the repairs being made to the World Machine were wrong and that instead of repairing the world, the 'fixes' were opening ways for chaos to reenter the world.  He ended up leading the PC's to a cavern (the patron was expecting the PC's to return with magical dwarf goods), where he could 'demonstrate' his experiment to the PC's.  The device was a small magical sphere emitting light, placed in a box with one small pinhole on one side to let out the light.  Then the dwarf had a small wheel with many small metal plates attached to it.  Each metal plate had a small cutout.  When turned quickly in front of the box with the light sphere, the light would pass through the sequence of cutouts projecting a changing scene upon the wall.  Unfortunately, the dwarf's hypothesis was correct - the changing figures of light turned into broos which attacked the PC's and the dwarf.

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11 hours ago, Joerg said:

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.

Flintnail Dwarves perhaps?

SDLeary

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19 hours 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? 

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

 

I would consider 2 "possible" ways to have Mostali PC's -- one (as widely suggested here) is the "broken cog," that is someone who is insane by Mostali standards, resulting in a degree of "adventuring functionality" that works from a non-Mostali POV.  The other is someone who is a "scout" -- tasked with investigating the world-at-large and reporting back with relevant information (previously-unknown threats, lost pieces of the World-Machine, etc). 

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12 hours ago, Rick Meints said:

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.

Yes, I've gotten the e-mail.  Haven't d/l'ed anything yet, as I'm stuck for the moment on a Chromebook with VERY limited storage.  :-(

 

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In the same game the players found a concrete Mostali tomb/storage facility, filled with oddities such as interactive clockwork maps, underwater breathing gear, tins of Spam and the obligitory Gobbler called Big Mouth....and exploding traps of course.

We think its powered by some sort of water (spirit) powered *fusion* drive. Kinda.

 

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6 hours ago, jajagappa said:

A brief excerpt regarding dwarfs from the survey of one Galacrustus, sage of the Irripi Ontor temple, in a letter to Iridascius, Aide to Quinscion, His Most Excellent General of Procurement and Disbursement, Mirin’s Cross.

Dwarf Coins

 

Due to the regular Dwarf Market, the coins of dwarfs can be found in circulation in Imther, particularly in Hilltown and amongst the mountain clans.  The most common of these coins are called Circles (silver), Squares (copper), and Hexes (gold).  Other coins seen include lead triangles, brass pentagons, the very rare seametal heptagons, and tin octagons.  Each coin has a slight indentation along the outer rim to allow for easier stacking and a milled edge.  The coins have no pictures, instead being entirely marked by runes said to be in the dwarf tongue.  Supposedly one Circle that was translated read: “1.0000000 Prazcdat Silver .9999989 Purity 3rd Forge Arganum Master Berv 241,982 Work Cycle Preferred”.

 

Dwarfs carry these coins in specially crafted tin containers with fitted slots for each different shape.  Each slot has an upper and a lower section and a device that allows a dwarf to either transfer a coin from the upper to the lower section or out of the container altogether.  Dwarfs have been seen using these devices both in trade and in measuring.  The dwarfs also seem to use individual coins as weights, placing them on special balances during trade deals.  Dwarfs trade these coins exclusively in Hilltown for silt, sand, and clay hauled up from the Aryael and Silverstone Rivers (and sometimes even brought from as far away as the Oslir River!).  It is unknown why the dwarfs value these products so highly.

 

Dwarfs coins are highly prized by Imtherian merchants since they are hard to clip and quite pure.  All of them have a central hole and some clansmen string them onto necklaces or earrings as talismans against sorcerous magics.  Their dwarfish nature, though, prevents their use in magical ceremonies and folk go to great length to ensure that all such coins are carefully put aside to avoid bad luck.

 

 

Love this. I shall be using these coins in my game.

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Just in case people have not seen these, here is how the Mostali are depicted in the G2G. Much more flavour than previous portrayals which felt a bit sterile to me.

Weird little buggers, I trust them not...

photo.jpg

bonus04final_800x1010_72dpi_50pc.jpg

 

The Guide To Glorantha has some excellent content on them

Edited by Mankcam
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" 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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...I only posted links to those pics, I didn't expect them to be presented within the post in such a manner - sorry about that....

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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The artistic depictions are certainly quite different, and I feel that the Mostali have a vague Brian Froud 'goblinoid' edge to them now. I would have to compare the products however to see if the content has changed however. I'll get back to you on that, but someone may be happy to jump in here and elaborate further.

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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6 hours ago, Mankcam said:

The artistic depictions are certainly quite different, and I feel that the Mostali have a vague Brian Froud 'goblinoid' edge to them now. I would have to compare the products however to see if the content has changed however. I'll get back to you on that, but someone may be happy to jump in here and elaborate further.

Yes that Brian Froud sense of goblinoid, and slightly grotesque is a good way to go for these dwarfs. 

I managed to dig out my old copy of elder secrets, and it's almost word for word in the GTG. 

Interestingly there is a section on developing player characters, where they mention pretty much what has been expressed here. That being Apostate (broken), or from the openhandism/ individualist sects, and they suggest the one in dragon pass. 

Reading elder secrets and the guide, it's apparent that there is a little bit of wiggle room to develop the idea a mostali away from their designated work. There is mention of them having a room next to their workshop where they are able to indulge in a hobby in their down time. 

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I tend to sway between dwarves being 1970s Trade Unionists to being like those of Discworld, all boring and work-oriented while in the mines but beer-swilling maniacs when outside.

PC Dwarves might have an element of Working for the World Machine (Jobsworth, Working to Rule, Knowing your Place) and being out of the Mostali Realms (I can do what I want, Nobody is watching Me, What are they Doing, That Seems Like Fun).

 

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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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I see dwarves as like post-apocalyptic survivalists.

They're dwelling underground in elaborate shelters, having survived the end of the world, and when they look out they see ignorant savages worshipping technology (to mostali eyes), giant cockroaches feeding off overgrown moulds and fungus (or as we would call them, animals and plants); and everything which  was once great, in ruins.

Exiled dwarves are thrust out into a world which disgusts them. They don't have access to purified food so everything tastes spoilt. Everything smells of blood and sweat, and feels greasy to them. And what's worse, no one else seems to notice or care.

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On 3/19/2016 at 10:48 PM, Iskallor said:

There's a submarine out there too.

 

Speaking of the dwarven submarine, in one of our adventures I had a Kraken attack the sub.  I screwed up big time.  the Kraken did so much damage in the first attack that the second attack would destroy the submarine.  The dwarves could not kill it.  I thought, oh oh, I just party wiped.  Better think of some Deux ex machina to bail them out.  Cursing my own lameness, I was totally surprised when my friend playing the chief Engineer told them to vent all the steam and release all the fire and water elementals into the engine.  "All fo them!  Release all of them!"  He said, kinda mimicking a famous scene from Star Wars.  We knew exactly how to calculate how much damage that would be in intense heat from the steam venting into the ocean.  The Kraken was wrapped around the sub.  Rolled for hit location.  They took out its head.  The creature was disabled, but the ship had lost its engines and was setting at the bottom of the sea. 

I was like, wow!  that saved my butt.  And now we have a real submarine adventure!

 

These were all orthodox Mostali, btw.  They'd been tasked with taking Tora's Hammer by submarine to Magasta's Pool and from there down to the center of the lozenge to be destroyed at Mostal's Forge  deep in the earth.  Riding the submarine down Magasta's Pool seemed a suicide mission, but orthodox Mostali don't question orders.  Besides the Engineer, there was a tin dwarf "I make cans."  A gold dwarf was in charge.  A silver dwarf manned the Navigation Helm that allowed him to see everything outside of the ship.  Some iron dwarf marines.  Everybody had a job to do to keep the submarine operational and safe.

 

It was after they'd survived the Descent and had to abandon the submarine and proceed on foot that the true test of these dwarves mettle occurred.  They were outside the box, so to speak. 

Edited by Pentallion
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For a grimmer variant, you could make the dwarfs like H.G.Wells' morlocks from Time Machine (take those of the most recent Hollywood incarnation), or the uruks of Isengard in The Two Towers (the Jackson flick).

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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