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Linking your Gloranthan Character With Gloranthan History

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Link Your Gloranthan Character with Gloranthan History

One of the easiest ways to get your players tied to the Gloranthan background is to have them read one of the fabulous "What My Father Told Me" about their Gloranthan culture and one of the "What Everyone Knows About XXX" - for example this for Afadjann in Fonrit. Some of them are linked here. One could also ask the players to read Cults of Prax or even parts of Guide to Glorantha but that might be asking a lot of them.

Here is a new way of integrating character to Gloranthan history and environment. It uses the information in Gloranthan Timelines where the historical events of Glorantha are tied to generations of family.

Here is an example of the links produced.

Our History in Dragon Pass - My GreatGrandPa: In 1538 at Dragon Pass my GreatGrandFather was part of Palashee Longaxe Rebellion and overthrow of Lunars 

Our History in DragonPass - GrandPa: In 1569 at Dragon Pass my GrandFather was in the camp Jarosar, king of Sartar killed by Lunar spirits

Our History in Dragon Pass - My Parents: In 1605 at Holy Country my Father was fighting as a mercenary when Building Wall Battle thwarts invasion of the Lunar Empire into the Holy Country. 

Our History in Dragon Pass - My Time: In 1613 at Dragon Pass member of my family (me or my sibling or my cousin) fought for freedom in Starbrow's Rebellion- Outraged by Lunar presence and urged by social unrest - Sartarites rebelled in force and temporarily expelled the Lunar Army. Lunars regrouped and defeated the rebels 

It contains all of the historical dates published in Guide to Glorantha, Wyrms Footnotes and couple of other publications. It ties them down to what the family member of that generation was doing on that event. This very first version only have the paternal ancestors, next one will contain also maternal ancestors and more variation. Currently it only tackles Dragon Pass and the immediate surroundings but eventually will return to my current favorite area Fonrit.

Background generation generates also parent, sibling and extended family information in addition to connections and family reputation all generated according to Mythras/Rq6. In addition it also generates generic background events.

You can generate all of this by using an Encounter Generator party called
- Background for a Character

You will also find that the Pregenerated Characters for your games contain this information either for all or some generations.

https://notesfrompavis.wordpress.com/2017/03/13/link-your-gloranthan-character-with-gloranthan-history/

 

 

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Excellent I played round with something similar(but manual) for Balazar on the blog.

I find the concepts great but the Pendragon based roll out coming in the next RQ edition rather clunky.

I think you also need some more general Gloranthan events to get the feel right.

If every other Satarite character has a parents died at the fall of Boldhome it ceases to be a meaningful and interesting story.  By the way that's an issue that reflects the proposed pendragon based system when encountered, not yours.

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Having now used the new Family Background system with scores of players, I find that less than half the Sartarite characters have their influential grandparent die at Boldhome. Having two characters in a party whose grandparents died at the same event tends to help build party cohesion and a sense of community. Don't think of these Family Background tables as being something you use for every NPC - these are used to create player adventurers and to ground the players in the setting.

I'd never use something like that for NPCs - unless those NPCs are supposed to be cut out of the same cloth as player characters.

 

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There was a certain amount of hyperbole in my comment Jeff.

I loved the idea and the concept, but the Pendragon mechanic it runs off leaves me cold, as i find it gets a bit samey. Especially as it develops passion and backgrounds.

I think most of the new stuff i've seen is top draw, especially the rune magic system which i think is almost perfect ( and i'm notoriously hard to please), but you cant please everyone all of the time. So take my opinion with a pinch of salt i'm sold on the concept if not the execution.

As regards using a system like it for NPC's, i've found dipping into the 'rooting in Glorantha' concept can help create interesting NPC's with interesting stories. The Refuza NPC on B2B that got some good feedback was created from me playing round with the rooting in Glorantha concept.  

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I think social class should have a major determining factor in the fate of one's Sartarite grandparents.  The outcomes for a thrall or a stickpicker would have been quite different to those for a carl, weaponthane, or noble.

Personally I like having random family history tables.  I like the Pendragon tables too.

I once even went so far as to produce a totally random character generation system for a Cyberpunk game I was running using a random personal history generator.  It indexed pediatric development data against social class and skewed outcomes to produce a statistically realistic rates of education and health, juvenile crime and detention based on social class, and the comparative prosperity of the area the character grew up in. What that meant was that you could come from any country on Earth, as well as a number of independent Arcologies, and a number of near orbit space habitats, and you would then roll event for each year of your life, and note them down, along with skills, attributes, merits or flaws you received or has the option to receive as a result.  I also had tables for tertiary education, incarceration, and professional life. The results were amazingly varied and the stories were often unusually compelling, and I had a hard time prying my players, especially the females, away from making "yet another character", not because the characters they had were bad, but because they were enjoying the system too much, to the point where one of the girls wrote a series of short stories about her character's background.

Memorable results included:    A feral boy who grew up in a Dickensian gang in an arcology's ventilation system and eventually became a pimp on a space orbital.  A Japanese girl who won a talent competition at age 14 propelling her into celebrity status before she fell foul of drugs and became a porn star.  An African kid who couldn't catch a break until his parents sold him for medical experimentation which worked surprisingly well, after which he wound up becoming a fighter pilot in the Kenyan Airforce (which was important because of the Kilimanjaro Orbital "beanstalk").  A rich college boy whose life when to shit after he became a whistleblowing hacker who took issue with certain corporations' quality control procedures.  A Palestinian ambulance worker living in France turned martial arts eco-terrorist.  A suburban accountant from Rekjavik with an interest in real estate and an increasingly impressive investment portfolio.  A mentally ill refugee lawyer from Sri Lanka who became a caped vigilante in Mexico City. A girl from a commune in rural Greece who became a celebrity after being lost in space and ultimately became a space station military administrator.

If anything I suspect making a similar table for RQ Glorantha would be a lot easier as the society is less complex.

 

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On 16/03/2017 at 8:38 PM, Darius West said:

I think social class should have a major determining factor in the fate of one's Sartarite grandparents.  The outcomes for a thrall or a stickpicker would have been quite different to those for a carl, weaponthane, or noble.

Personally I like having random family history tables.  I like the Pendragon tables too.

I once even went so far as to produce a totally random character generation system for a Cyberpunk game I was running using a random personal history generator.  It indexed pediatric development data against social class and skewed outcomes to produce a statistically realistic rates of education and health, juvenile crime and detention based on social class, and the comparative prosperity of the area the character grew up in. What that meant was that you could come from any country on Earth, as well as a number of independent Arcologies, and a number of near orbit space habitats, and you would then roll event for each year of your life, and note them down, along with skills, attributes, merits or flaws you received or has the option to receive as a result.  I also had tables for tertiary education, incarceration, and professional life. The results were amazingly varied and the stories were often unusually compelling, and I had a hard time prying my players, especially the females, away from making "yet another character", not because the characters they had were bad, but because they were enjoying the system too much, to the point where one of the girls wrote a series of short stories about her character's background.

Memorable results included:    A feral boy who grew up in a Dickensian gang in an arcology's ventilation system and eventually became a pimp on a space orbital.  A Japanese girl who won a talent competition at age 14 propelling her into celebrity status before she fell foul of drugs and became a porn star.  An African kid who couldn't catch a break until his parents sold him for medical experimentation which worked surprisingly well, after which he wound up becoming a fighter pilot in the Kenyan Airforce (which was important because of the Kilimanjaro Orbital "beanstalk").  A rich college boy whose life when to shit after he became a whistleblowing hacker who took issue with certain corporations' quality control procedures.  A Palestinian ambulance worker living in France turned martial arts eco-terrorist.  A suburban accountant from Rekjavik with an interest in real estate and an increasingly impressive investment portfolio.  A mentally ill refugee lawyer from Sri Lanka who became a caped vigilante in Mexico City. A girl from a commune in rural Greece who became a celebrity after being lost in space and ultimately became a space station military administrator.

If anything I suspect making a similar table for RQ Glorantha would be a lot easier as the society is less complex.

 

I think a big issue on your preference on this is do you prefer crafted/decided or rolled/random characters.

I'd hate to go through the character creation system with a concept and then have the concept thrown or destroyed by a random dice role towards the end.

My preference almost always veers towards player choice especially when it concerns their characters, which are there one vehicle to affect the story.    

I can see how random generation can be a source good ideas and concept generation, but also can see how if rigidly applied could detract from players gaining.

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What Did I, My Parents and Grandparents And Siblings Do Before Hero Wars started

I created a way to generate pregen characters  earlier on for the Encounter Generator. I wanted to tie the pregenerated characters into the history of Glorantha. So in those I also included information about the family history for four generations - from the current time to Great Grand Parents days. Family history was connected to Gloranthan Timelines around Dragon Pass area roughly. Gloranthan timeline events come from Guide to Glorantha, Wyrms Footnotes and other sources. In that first version there was only one deed per each timeline event like in the below examples. 

  • In 1563 at Elder Wilds GrandFather was caravan guard when Last Vizkinni king Partobas the Bold raises the wrath of Lunar Provincial Commander
  • In 1589 at Lunar Empire Father saw when Jar-Eel goes to Fronela expedition and overcomes the Syndic's Ban

Here is a small table expanding those deeds that your blood relatives might have done. Deeds vary from small to large - from benign to evil - from mundane to heroic. This will be eventually incorporated to the pregen in some form . These can be used for the back story of character in character generation - this is system independent - so will work whatever version of Runequest or Mythras or even Heroquest you are running.

So for example you might pick an entry from the list and say that 

  • In 1589 at Lunar Empire Father fought a famous duel when Jar-Eel goes to Fronela expedition and overcomes the Syndic's Ban
  • In 1563 at Elder Wilds GrandFather refused to talk about the time when Last Vizkinni king Partobas the Bold raises the wrath of Lunar Provincial Commander
abandoned faith of the ancestors
ambushed the enemy
attacked enemy encampment
became a hero
became a runelord
became enemies with powerful clan
became friends with a powerful clan
befriended locals
betrayed his/her master
burned a temple
burned a village
was busy fighting chaos
captured
dabbled with dark forces
dabbled with sorcery
devoted oneself to the cult
died in the action
died fighting chaos
disappeared for a long time
embezzling company's money
embraced the enemy faith 
encountered chaos
was enslaved
escaped the bloodbath
escaped the caravan
fled for his life
fought 
fought a famous duel
fought for freedom
fought hard
found the family treasure
rose high in the cult
was banished from the cult
was famous for his/her herd
was famous for his/her prize bull
became a member of the ring/council/inner circle/general staff
fraternized with enemy
got ambushed
got an epithet
got craving to go to sea
got famous
got famous as a chaos killer
got involved with a vendetta
got married
got rich selling beer
had to flee the home region
was claimed to have child/ren outside the clan
was imprisoned
gained 50 herd animals in a raid
fell in love with wandering minstrel and left the family
had dealings with dwarves
had dealings with elves
acquired a Grazelander Goldeneye horse
went berserk and saved the day
was carried on his/her shield from the battlefield
joined
joined the outlaws
joined a Heroband
killed 7 enemies
killed enemy priest and his entourage
laughed at the grave of the enemy
lost a fortune
lost ones’ mind seeing the carnage
made a fortune
made a powerful enemy
made friends with trolls
married from outside the clan
met lifemate
never came back
offended the authorities
participated
participated in the atrocities
rebelled
refused to talk about the time
retired from active life
retired from the world
embraced the Lunar way
fought the chaos in Snakepipe Hollow
never returned from Snakepipe Hollow
succeeded in a Heroquest
failed in a Heroquest
came back changed 
came back as a broken person
never left the village after coming back
was hounded by a spirit the rest of her/his days
seeked forgetfulness from alcohol/narcotic substances the rest of his/her days
spent rest of his/her days seeking penance from the deeds done 
saw
saw the events of
saw the light and converted
saw the refugees suffering
served the dark forces
served the enemy
smuggled contraband
stole a treasure
travelled to distant land
was a body guard to a ruler
was a caravan guard
was a guard on a merchant ship
was a spirit talker
was a spy
was a Trickster
was absent from duty
was an unwitting pawn of chaos
was around
was asked odd questions by a stranger and was said to become illuminated
was barely surviving
was branded as a coward
was branded as a traitor
was captured
was caravan guard 
was defending the village
was drafted to the expedition
was drunk the whole time
was embezzling his/her master's money during
was falsely accused of a crime or unworthy deed
was famed thruout the region as the master of his/her skill
was famous for depravities
was fighting as a mercenary
was fighting for our lives 
was fighting for the freedom
was for many years consort in a ruling family
was hardened criminal
was hiding from the authorities
was in the camp
was in the city 
was in the city and got rich 
was in the counter raid 
was in the courtyard
was in the field
was in the relief expedition
was in the service of sorceror from the west
was in the service of the sorcerors beyond the sea
was lost at sea
was one of the first to see
was outlawed
was part of
was part of the army. 
was part of the caravan
was part of the work crew
was promoted
was rightly accused of a crime or unworthy deed but escaped the retribution
was spoofed by a Trickster
was suffering in
was taking advantage of the situation
was the lone survivor
was the party animal of the generation
went along

https://notesfrompavis.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/what-did-i-my-parents-and-grandparents-and-siblings-do-before-hero-wars-started/

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1 hour ago, hkokko said:

What Did I, My Parents and Grandparents And Siblings Do Before Hero Wars started

I created a way to generate pregen characters  earlier on for the Encounter Generator. I wanted to tie the pregenerated characters into the history of Glorantha. So in those I also included information about the family history for four generations - from the current time to Great Grand Parents days. Family history was connected to Gloranthan Timelines around Dragon Pass area roughly. Gloranthan timeline events come from Guide to Glorantha, Wyrms Footnotes and other sources. In that first version there was only one deed per each timeline event like in the below examples. 

  • In 1563 at Elder Wilds GrandFather was caravan guard when Last Vizkinni king Partobas the Bold raises the wrath of Lunar Provincial Commander
  • In 1589 at Lunar Empire Father saw when Jar-Eel goes to Fronela expedition and overcomes the Syndic's Ban

Here is a small table expanding those deeds that your blood relatives might have done. Deeds vary from small to large - from benign to evil - from mundane to heroic. This will be eventually incorporated to the pregen in some form . These can be used for the back story of character in character generation - this is system independent - so will work whatever version of Runequest or Mythras or even Heroquest you are running.

So for example you might pick an entry from the list and say that 

  • In 1589 at Lunar Empire Father fought a famous duel when Jar-Eel goes to Fronela expedition and overcomes the Syndic's Ban
  • In 1563 at Elder Wilds GrandFather refused to talk about the time when Last Vizkinni king Partobas the Bold raises the wrath of Lunar Provincial Commander

abandoned faith of the ancestors
ambushed the enemy
attacked enemy encampment
became a hero
became a runelord
became enemies with powerful clan
became friends with a powerful clan
befriended locals
betrayed his/her master
burned a temple
burned a village
was busy fighting chaos
captured
dabbled with dark forces
dabbled with sorcery
devoted oneself to the cult
died in the action
died fighting chaos
disappeared for a long time
embezzling company's money
embraced the enemy faith 
encountered chaos
was enslaved
escaped the bloodbath
escaped the caravan
fled for his life
fought 
fought a famous duel
fought for freedom
fought hard
found the family treasure
rose high in the cult
was banished from the cult
was famous for his/her herd
was famous for his/her prize bull
became a member of the ring/council/inner circle/general staff
fraternized with enemy
got ambushed
got an epithet
got craving to go to sea
got famous
got famous as a chaos killer
got involved with a vendetta
got married
got rich selling beer
had to flee the home region
was claimed to have child/ren outside the clan
was imprisoned
gained 50 herd animals in a raid
fell in love with wandering minstrel and left the family
had dealings with dwarves
had dealings with elves
acquired a Grazelander Goldeneye horse
went berserk and saved the day
was carried on his/her shield from the battlefield
joined
joined the outlaws
joined a Heroband
killed 7 enemies
killed enemy priest and his entourage
laughed at the grave of the enemy
lost a fortune
lost ones’ mind seeing the carnage
made a fortune
made a powerful enemy
made friends with trolls
married from outside the clan
met lifemate
never came back
offended the authorities
participated
participated in the atrocities
rebelled
refused to talk about the time
retired from active life
retired from the world
embraced the Lunar way
fought the chaos in Snakepipe Hollow
never returned from Snakepipe Hollow
succeeded in a Heroquest
failed in a Heroquest
came back changed 
came back as a broken person
never left the village after coming back
was hounded by a spirit the rest of her/his days
seeked forgetfulness from alcohol/narcotic substances the rest of his/her days
spent rest of his/her days seeking penance from the deeds done 
saw
saw the events of
saw the light and converted
saw the refugees suffering
served the dark forces
served the enemy
smuggled contraband
stole a treasure
travelled to distant land
was a body guard to a ruler
was a caravan guard
was a guard on a merchant ship
was a spirit talker
was a spy
was a Trickster
was absent from duty
was an unwitting pawn of chaos
was around
was asked odd questions by a stranger and was said to become illuminated
was barely surviving
was branded as a coward
was branded as a traitor
was captured
was caravan guard 
was defending the village
was drafted to the expedition
was drunk the whole time
was embezzling his/her master's money during
was falsely accused of a crime or unworthy deed
was famed thruout the region as the master of his/her skill
was famous for depravities
was fighting as a mercenary
was fighting for our lives 
was fighting for the freedom
was for many years consort in a ruling family
was hardened criminal
was hiding from the authorities
was in the camp
was in the city 
was in the city and got rich 
was in the counter raid 
was in the courtyard
was in the field
was in the relief expedition
was in the service of sorceror from the west
was in the service of the sorcerors beyond the sea
was lost at sea
was one of the first to see
was outlawed
was part of
was part of the army. 
was part of the caravan
was part of the work crew
was promoted
was rightly accused of a crime or unworthy deed but escaped the retribution
was spoofed by a Trickster
was suffering in
was taking advantage of the situation
was the lone survivor
was the party animal of the generation
went along

https://notesfrompavis.wordpress.com/2017/04/01/what-did-i-my-parents-and-grandparents-and-siblings-do-before-hero-wars-started/

I love the idea but it seems familiar :)

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Well. Similar lists exist - standing on the shoulders of giants. The only thing possibly unique in this is automatic integration of this to gloranthan history timelines of certain regions tied to player paternal/maternal bloodline generations via encounter generator. This provides 4 generations (with approx  150 events in Dragon Pass timelines) x 150 acts what either your paternal or maternal blood relative did providing some variety and tie into Glorantha. This is currently approx 10mb of plain text data :-( If you have pointers to more lists that their writers would like to share (with attribution) to combine here would be interested.  The list was written adhoc this morning and afternoon and the combinations created from the database I have created earlier on for the Gloranthan timelines - this time done with a bit of elementary Ruby programming. If things go right the data is integrated to Encounter generator sometime in the future where one can use it system independently...

Edited by hkokko

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@Jon Hunter you mentioned earlier a need for general Gloranthan events - what kind of events you meant - the ones in GtG area activities or things similar to KoDP or something else? Have to revisit your blog about Balazaring backgrounds.

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13 hours ago, hkokko said:

@Jon Hunter you mentioned earlier a need for general Gloranthan events - what kind of events you meant - the ones in GtG area activities or things similar to KoDP or something else? Have to revisit your blog about Balazaring backgrounds.

 

http://www.backtobalazar.com/significant-family-events/

This article pushes develops the idea, it came because the elder wilds doesn't have the same history dragon pass does, so to give a good range of significant life events we needed to come up with more generic events that created variation and interest.

What i thought was interesting was we both developed the event and the personal interaction to the event as two different aspects.

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6 minutes ago, Jon Hunter said:

 

http://www.backtobalazar.com/significant-family-events/

This article pushes develops the idea, it came because the elder wilds doesn't have the same history dragon pass does, so to give a good range of significant life events we needed to come up with more generic events that created variation and interest.

What i thought was interesting was we both developed the event and the personal interaction to the event as two different aspects.

Wow - I had missed that one. Wonderful stuff. . Could I combine/loan it to the stuff I developed with attribution - of course.

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6 minutes ago, hkokko said:

Wow - I had missed that one. Wonderful stuff. . Could I combine/loan it to the stuff I developed with attribution - of course.

Of course ... this is a balazar focused one, work really needs to be done to create for each homeland i may have some Lunar Provinces notes I used for my campaign stuck somewhere, want me to have a root round?

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Now all of the above are available when generating for example a priest in Sartar. 

http://skoll.xyz/mythras_eg/party/782/

Here an example generated...

Our History in Dragon Pass - My GreatGrandPa: In 1539 at Dragon Pass GreatGrandMother died in the action when Dragonewts Dream. Phantom dragonewts appear throughout Dragon Pass and surrounding lands carrying out mysterious rituals and other tasks. 

Our History in Dragon Pass - My Grand Parents: In 1580 at Lunar Empire GrandFather lost ones’ mind seeing the carnage when Lunar Empire made trade treaty with Ralzakark 

Our History in Dragon Pass - My Parents: In 1609 at Dragon Pass Mother embraced the enemy faith when Boar Hunt: Persistent raiding by tusk riders rallied their foes and many lands sent their best hunters and warriors to hunt down the raiders. Success was - as usual - questionable 
 

Our History in Dragon Pass - My Time: In 1619 at Holy Country member of my family (me or my sibling or my cousin) was famous for depravities when Ditali raided Esrolia

On the following round need to look at some of the syntax - there seem to be some missing words here and there. 

 

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16 hours ago, hkokko said:

Our History in Dragon Pass - My Time: In 1619 at Holy Country member of my family (me or my sibling or my cousin) was famous for depravities when Ditali raided Esrolia

....On the following round need to look at some of the syntax - there seem to be some missing words here and there. 

 

Oh, I don't know... that seems pretty spot on (if transposed) too for Afadjann.

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This is great.  If you know the history of the place you are starting your campaign.  

Could you give a reference of where to start learning this history?  Especially Dragon Pass?  

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2 hours ago, mikuel said:

This is great.  If you know the history of the place you are starting your campaign.  

Could you give a reference of where to start learning this history?  Especially Dragon Pass?  

A detailed history of a region appears towards the from of most RQ settings and supplements, that is the best place to start. 

The guide to Glorantha is a great tome and will probably have some of what you are looking for, but probably too big and complex for what you are looking for.

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6 hours ago, mikuel said:

Could you give a reference of where to start learning this history?  Especially Dragon Pass?

Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes or King of Sartar are probably the best current choices for Dragon Pass.  King of Sartar includes the Composite History of Dragon Pass (plus gives you some of the Argrath saga on what is to come).

The Coming Storm adds some more detail for the tribes around Jonstown.

 

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