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Kim

Against Runocriticism

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Viewing anyone with the spirit rune as an apprentice shaman is probably a bit of a mistake. Certainly they can better interact with the spirits, but this does not make them shamans. Waha's cult has always had an association with the spiritual, what with his command of the spirits of law, his cult providing cheap access to Detect Spirits, and having the Rune Spell Discorporation, which involved becoming a disembodied spirit.

These are things that would be covered by individual spells in RQ and similar systems, but with HQ:G they would fall under the heading of the Spirit Rune.

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13 hours ago, davecake said:

Not to mention it is a revelation about the structure of the Waha cult that has never been even hinted at in any previous material

When I started working on the Prax book, I went to the source for information - Greg. I went through loads of stuff with him to see what was true about the setting and what wasn't in his opinion. The Empty are a result of that work. The problem with the Praxians is that they are very tied to the Spirit rune, and this is a problem for the minority that aren't and the runes weren't important in early versions of the cult. Greg wanted the Praxians to exhibit a mixed system of magic and thats what he got. The Waha cult first appeared in Cults of Prax 1979, then a short form Gods of Glorantha 1985, Long form Tales 15 1995, then HeroQuest 2003, then HeroQuest Glorantha in 2015. There are big gaps between official versions and in that time there's been ample scope for development (or not in the early versions). We've never really known how the cult works in terms of what Waha did to save the Wastelands, now thats mostly filled in with the bulk to be in the Prax book (the Tasks of Waha are missing from HQG).

Other stuff we didn't know (from Greg) was that the Morokanth are vegetarians, don't use hyenas as hunting dogs, the Praxians don't use hunting dogs. There's loads more...

It's Gregging, but it is his world.

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Dave, my point is a bit subtler than 'we were Gregged'. My point where I start to disagree with you is not the idea that the Praxians are very tied to the spirit world, or that this is a problem for a minority who aren't capable - my problem is jumping to the idea that this is synonymous with 'possessing the Spirit Rune', which is a statement about HQG rules not Glorantha. If that rules statement is also a statement about how the relationship with the spirit world works for everyone in Glorantha, its a huge statement about how the world works snuck in inappropriately via a single cult writeup detail. If that rules statement isn't also a statement about how the relationship with the spirit world works for everyone in Glorantha, then it should have been written without the references to the Spirit Rune that imply it is. 

I think it is a generic problem with writing about Glorantha, really - we spend an enormous amount of time ensuring that the descriptions of the details of the world, both physical and cultural, are consistent, but enormously significant basic facts about how the mechanics of the world, especially magical ones, often vary wildly and inconsistently between games systems. 

And FWIW, even with all that background I have literally no understanding at all of why Devotees are written the way that they are. Why would becoming closer to Waha mean you have to now discard Wahas best magic? Why would the Waha cult even have a special cult status with special super awesome magic (a pretty great feat) that is reserved for a cult status that they think only the spiritually crippled would be interested in? 

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OK, I am a little bit annoyed about the Gregging too. 

But I am very much looking forward to this eventually making its way into publication. 

I appreciate details like the lack of hunting dogs, and hope there is a lot more of that sort of cultural detail. 

 

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FWIW, I've obviously got no issue with Waha's cult having a close association with spirits, it has always been that way. It is the parts that don't have a close association with spirits that are new. 

When I referred to the Spirit Rune being like becoming an apprentice shaman I meant that (for both the Waha cult and the Kolat cult) having the Spirit rune is identified with seeing and interacting with spirits day to day, essential an apprentice shaman kind of power. Most shamanic cultures are not so much like this IMO - they interact with the spirits a lot at special ceremonies that allow it, and they have charms that specialist magicians have given them that allow them to talk to that spirit, and sometimes spirits choose to interact with them. But if a spirit is passive and uninterested in interacting with humans, they can't walk into its space and look around and see it - they have to put some effort into doing so. 

To put it in RQ3 terms - having the Spirit Rune is described as being like having a Second Sight spell always active, like a shaman, not knowing the Second Sight spell like a normal spirit magician might. However it works in new RQ it should describe a universe that works the same as HQG. 

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The emptied aren't quite new.  They were extant in Hero Wars to explain those people who had joined the Sword Brothers and were unable to speak to spirits.

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I'm just surprised, and pleased, that there's discussion happening. Obviously, all of you are sick and wrong, as people go.

I hate seeing a setting, which excites and stirs me, mushed into one or another set of rules. No matter how extraordinary they are.

First time I came upon Glorantha (etc) online was around 2000. I miss that/then. Lots of people talking. As far as I can tell, this thin sad forum is all that passes for our fandom now.

Whiner? Certainly I am.

I stick by my assertion: runes are parochial crap, and Glorantha is more fun than that.

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20 hours ago, Kim said:

I stick by my assertion: runes are parochial crap, and Glorantha is more fun than that.

That's fair enough, it's true RQ2 didn't make runes game mechanically significant. It looks like you will be able to play the new edition of RQ and just ignore runes and run magic more like it was in RQ2 as well.

Ive always found runes fascinating, just as I've always been interested in all kinds of religious and magical symbols. I like the way they evoke an underlying reality to myth and the universality of magical symbolism both in terms of physical symbols and symbolic meanings.

so I'll take my Glorantha with a nice big side order of parochial crap every time . :)

Simon Hibbs

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If putting Runes into RuneQuest is parochial crap then I'm all for it.

Did anyone mention the first edition of White Bear & Red Moon used Runes as symbols for the different Heroes?

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Yeah I always found it weird that the game was called RuneQuest, yet the game mechanics behind Runes was almost nonexistent.

If CRQ4 is firmly set in Glorantha, then I welcome having Runes deeply embedded in the game mechanics and character generation,

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I've never really bothered with runes until recently.

RQ2 had Priests gaining the Magic Rune, Lords gaining the Mastery Rune, Heroes gaining the Infinity Rune and that was about it.

RQ2/3 gave cults a Runic Association that was useful in working out what runes a PC should have, but it went no further.

Hero Wars had Runic Affinities which were OK but tied themselves in knots.

HeroQuest Glorantha had a very strict way that runes worked, far too strict for my tastes.

Personally, I like having runes available that affect the PC and can be used by the PC but that don't overwhelm the PC. 

What I hate is when the game world changes because the rules have changed. The game world should be what it is and the rules should reflect or mimic certain aspects of the game world.

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On 6/3/2016 at 11:31 AM, David Scott said:

@soltakss Given your RPG/Rune list, you don't seem satisfied with what's out there. So what do you suggest?

I've got a homebrew system that is based on what Steve Perrin did for MRQ1 but highly adapted. It is full of holes and only works if you don;t look at it to closely. Wpuld it be suitable for anyone outside our gaming group? No.

 

I am not against the idea of using Runes in Glorantha, in fact I am all for it.

 

What I am against is redefining elements of established Glorantha so they seem to fit a particular set of rules. RQ3 did it to a certain extent. With the introduction of HeroQuest. 7th Age and RuneQuest to Glorantha, there are competing sets of rules that describe Glorantha. I would hate to see aspects of Glorantha changed just so they agree with the individual rulesets.

 

But, give me a flexible working set of rules for runes and I'll use them in my campaign.

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On 5/23/2016 at 4:49 AM, Kim said:

I hate heroes.

Not much point playing epic fantasy then XD Despite the low power beginnings, with its huge complex myth RuneQuest is epic fantasy. Guess what epic fantasy has? Heroes.

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On 6/9/2016 at 5:53 AM, Viktor said:

Not much point playing epic fantasy then XD Despite the low power beginnings, with its huge complex myth RuneQuest is epic fantasy. Guess what epic fantasy has? Heroes.

Well, obviously.

I don't play epic fantasy. Can't remember when I did. What I did do a lot of was play a lot in Glorantha; with various rules. Literally no one I've ever met, except online, has ever been invested in, or even interested in, 'epic fantasy' as a genre.

If RuneQuest = epic fantasy = heroes, or any arrangement of those terms, then that's a failing of RuneQuest, not of Glorantha.

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On 6/3/2016 at 1:44 AM, Mankcam said:

Yeah I always found it weird that the game was called RuneQuest, yet the game mechanics behind Runes was almost nonexistent.

If CRQ4 is firmly set in Glorantha, then I welcome having Runes deeply embedded in the game mechanics and character generation,

That makes a lot of sense. It's hard to argue with.

I suspect I'm a product of my generation, or my fragment of one. When I encountered the "Rune" in "Runequest", the obvious and automatic assumption that anyone I then knew was, that it was simple branding, '70s woo stuff to appeal to those folks. Either runes for the Tolkien crowd, or runes for the 'Northern European heritage' crowd. Plenty of either crowd to go around.

Again, I came to Glorantha, and Runequest, later than a person to be taken seriously should be. The first time I got a sense of "runes" as being a thing in the gameworld to be taken seriously was in the context of surviving Godlearner knowledge; and, in the meta-world, in the context of people (fans and pros) working to build out Glorantha very strictly and under some unusual fantasy/game constraints, and some very tough constraints.

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The dreaded 'Gregging' came up, and I'd like to say, my own piss-ignorant and childish whining is not based on that issue. I guess I do recognize and appreciate the practical, the emotional, the encyclopedist's difficulties with Gregging, but I think I do support Gregging. The guy made a world and let us in; he put world-defining stories at the center of the world; he let us see, and maybe touch, those stories; how much more boss is there in being the boss?

I don't support Gregging in the game system(s) the same way, though. I do feel like the latest tranche has basically given up on how cool and awesome Glorantha is; it's outsourced all the actual work, both creative and simply sweatly, while still retaining credit and authority over the product. Instead of broad and agnostic game systems that can easily be tuned to cover an entire world of contradictory and also literally true religious traditions, mythologies, cosmologies, and recorded histories (a situation I ADORE), and which contributors and writers leaped to enrich and expand -- I do feel we've been sold an cosmologically authoritative beast of a 'game' that all our Gloranthas must have already accommodated. (If you'll permit the light Renan reference.)

Look at the complete frelling frellfest of Kralorela, as it appeared in the recent Atlas. I'm still shocked and dismayed at it. So a third of that continent's now gonna be subsumed into some three-phase personality rune identity magic affinity globalization thing? Maybe that's best. Second best, after being nuked from orbit.

No. Actually, hang on to that poly-alethian, polycentric Glorantha we've been teased with for so long; adopt a rules system like HQ1 or HQ2 that, gamely and plausibly, promises to take on all comers; love the conflict around Dragon's Pass we've been given for decades, and their fantasies about being the crux of the cosmos, please respect them as valid beliefs about reality; love all the parts of the world where things just don't work that way; please continue to exist when stuff about Dragon's Pass still thinks it's significant.

"[T]he eastern ports of Ssormu, Elelun, and Mimore, pretty, peaceful cities of graceful columns and muraled halls, where scholars sit beneath mullioned windows of ochre and rust-hued glass to debate the wisdom of their forefathers -- and where all the portentious affairs of Tsolyanu and the west are but fanciful travelers' tales, of little relevance to life," MAR Barker wrote once.

Runes are a thing, it's said, has been thought. Skamander's stream was but a dream; the Spire is gone and the center never was nor held. What a peculiar pile we have, of myths of certain people.

I've never said anything like this about a male before: but Greg can give me a Gregging, hard and fast, into the vilest, deepest, foulest depths of Gregness, as hard and explicitly as Greg has ever Gregged a Gregphenoumenon; and I'd accept it.

Ignore it; probably, sure. I'd still accept it.

What I'm trying to say is that old platitude: Hate the sinner, love the sin.

Edited by Kim
Failed to instantiate the edit I tried just before. Shuting up now.
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If you did a fanzine I'd read it. Yeah, that's a dare.

Looking for an authentic pre-colonial Kralorela at this point is a mandate for saints and revolutionaries -- in the earliest surviving documents they worshipped "Yelm" over there.

Maybe that's just where "Yelm" comes from, dragging his set of "runes" along with him across the sky from the morning exposure of empire. As generations of travelers come and go, they put two clacks into the prayer machine for a look at the sun just like everyone else. Eventually the cult gets to Raibanth and that's where the Malkioni with their universalizing categories encounter him. They reintroduce their expectations when they go to the Eest. Some of it sticks, most of it doesn't, but it's all available for enunciation as "la langue."

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1 hour ago, Kim said:

love the conflict around Dragon's Pass we've been given for decades, and their fantasies about being the crux of the cosmos, please respect them as valid beliefs about reality; love all the parts of the world where things just don't work that way; please continue to exist when stuff about Dragon's Pass still thinks it's significant.

The history of Glorantha is filled with events that different groups claim to have caused... Many of the events in or near Dragon Pass have parallel 'causes'. Within Glorantha, given the nature of the cosmos, local events often have non-local causes.

From Cults of Terror...

The Sunstop

The year 374 was critical for Glorantha. At that time many synchronous events of tremendous magnitude culminated to force an impossible act to occur.

In central Genertela, the great Genesis of the Perfect One reached a climax.

In Fronela, the wizards engaged in a thaumaturgical contest with a powerful heathen god, promising a great sign of their strength to destroy their foes.

In eastern Genertela, in the land of Kralorela, the latest of the Dragon Emperors meditated upon a potent symbol, whose consequence and inner working was unknown. Without realizing it or not caring about it, he called upon the Dragon's Eye to shine upon him.

In Pamaltela, a hundred thousand elves, led by their god of nature called Pamalt, sent their energies coursing through the world to call upon a good spirit to come to their jungle to help combat a virulent rot besetting their inner fibers.

Dragon Pass is mythically and universally a cause of local and non-local events because it's the primary site for Dragon Nests, and the home of a bunch of obscure Air Gods.

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48 minutes ago, scott-martin said:

If you did a fanzine I'd read it. Yeah, that's a dare.

Looking for an authentic pre-colonial Kralorela at this point is a mandate for saints and revolutionaries -- in the earliest surviving documents they worshipped "Yelm" over there.

Maybe that's just where "Yelm" comes from, dragging his set of "runes" along with him across the sky from the morning exposure of empire. As generations of travelers come and go, they put two clacks into the prayer machine for a look at the sun just like everyone else. Eventually the cult gets to Raibanth and that's where the Malkioni with their universalizing categories encounter him. They reintroduce their expectations when they go to the Eest. Some of it sticks, most of it doesn't, but it's all available for enunciation as "la langue."

I'd fanzine your bill off, you honey duckling; but the problem is that I used to do intellectual property law to pay my bills, and also I've read fanzines. So that's not happening.

Totally respect you calling my Kralorelan originalism; I sucked and you ruled! But I don't really follow the next paragraph.

Edited by Kim
I'm fucking inederate.
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56 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

The history of Glorantha is filled with events that different groups claim to have caused... Many of the events in or near Dragon Pass have parallel 'causes'. Within Glorantha, given the nature of the cosmos, local events often have non-local causes.

From Cults of Terror...

The Sunstop

The year 374 was critical for Glorantha. At that time many synchronous events of tremendous magnitude culminated to force an impossible act to occur.

In central Genertela, the great Genesis of the Perfect One reached a climax.

In Fronela, the wizards engaged in a thaumaturgical contest with a powerful heathen god, promising a great sign of their strength to destroy their foes.

In eastern Genertela, in the land of Kralorela, the latest of the Dragon Emperors meditated upon a potent symbol, whose consequence and inner working was unknown. Without realizing it or not caring about it, he called upon the Dragon's Eye to shine upon him.

In Pamaltela, a hundred thousand elves, led by their god of nature called Pamalt, sent their energies coursing through the world to call upon a good spirit to come to their jungle to help combat a virulent rot besetting their inner fibers.

Dragon Pass is mythically and universally a cause of local and non-local events because it's the primary site for Dragon Nests, and the home of a bunch of obscure Air Gods.

I pushed the 'like' button on your post, and don't regret it. I also just don't... buy? agree with? care about? what you say about Dragon Pass. Even if it's right, totally correct down to its buttons.

This is a ridiculous piece of territory that we must pretend has much more interesting civilizations, and many, many lesser entities, also must to give a flip about.

I accept that as marketing; I void myself upon it as a consumer. VEHEMENTLY, but not explicitly.

Twice now I've played in & through Gloranthan apocalypses. Dragon's Pass was irrelevant, twicelyful. Why should it have been otherwise? 'Tis a silly bit of space.

Edited by Kim
ILLETERASSY

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1 hour ago, Kim said:

This is a ridiculous piece of territory that we must pretend has much more interesting civilizations, and many, many lesser entities, also must to give a flip about.

In The Guide to Glorantha, 23 pages out of 754 are specifically about Dragon Pass (several pages are maps). Perhaps another 25-30 pages provide material directly relating to Dragon Pass.

Your complaint seems to be about the coverage of the region in other published material, but that's hardly surprising because it was the focus of most of the Chaosium house campaigns, and the published world has its origins (in published form) in the board game most recently called... Dragon Pass.

It's also a fact that in the world, Dragon Pass is at the crossroads of a continent because it is virtually the only easy pass in a gigantic mountain range that bisects the continent. History is going to funnel through there, much as the Middle East of our world has been the crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa - and what a lot of history comes from that...

In comparing Glorantha with Tékumel, I would also note that the Tékumel Sourcebook aside, virtually all the published Tékumel material relates to Tsolyánu or to Tsolyáni characters going elsewhere.

For example, the most recent Kickstarter...

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jeffdee/kurt-hills-fantasy-atlas/description

Deep in the heart of Tsolyánu...

 

 

 

Edited by M Helsdon

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