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Khelbiros

Advice for HeroQuest: Glorantha Mini-Campaign

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Khelbiros    8

Hi everyone,

I'm going to run a short game (four or so sessions) with my current RPG group. I've got HeroQuest Glorantha and the two Sartar books.  The group hasn't played HeroQuest before, and all they know that it's a 'bronze age' style campaign. Is the best way to start with the clan questionnaire in the first Sartar book? It does seem a bit long - if anyone has tried it? Is it the best way to build a clan? Should the group agree on each answer, or just one person do one part of the quiz at a time to keep things moving?

To get the group invested in the setting, I want them to design their own clan and build in characters that link to it. Otherwise, I was thinking of something like how the Dresden Files book has you building the PC 'world', where everyone contributes a fact or conflict about the world.

Let me know what the best way to start this off would be.

Cheers.

Edited by Khelbiros

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jajagappa    771

Yes, I used it with my players to build out their clan.  I used a poll for each question with majority determining outcome, and ties either broken by me or indicating that both conditions were true.  I believe others have used the approach of each person answering a question which ensures that everyone has a voice in the creation. 

While I could have created the clan myself using random rolls or my own decisions, having the players do so is far more interesting - and it lets you see what engages them (and what ideas it may create for you as the GM).  For instance, the Orlmarth clan in my game hates the Fire Tribe (and fear the Cinder Pits).  And the Fire Tribe has been a consistent foe to them in various forms (Lunars, fire demons).

My players did create their characters first and then we figured out how the character fit into the clan.  But the opposite works fine too.

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g33k    738

CAUTION, WILL ROBINSON!  :D

While I love the deep-dive creation of characters and setting in conjunction, that's often a full game-session of activity and IME some players don't experience it as "gaming" but as prep / overhead.  It can be really challenging in a mini-saga format (4ish sessions) to realize the investment of time and creativity from that kind of thing.  Quite a few players that I know personally (and a sentiment I have seen expressed in various gaming fora) is that many players don't want that much up-front CharGen time for a short-form campaign.

FWIW -- you know your players.  Maybe I offer this to no point... but offer it I do.

 

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jajagappa    771
3 hours ago, g33k said:

the deep-dive creation of characters and setting in conjunction, that's often a full game-session of activity and IME some players don't experience it as "gaming" but as prep / overhead.  It can be really challenging in a mini-saga format (4ish sessions) to realize the investment of time and creativity from that kind of thing.

One approach that you could take if you want this aspect but don't want to take the session time for it is to put together a short poll/survey and have the players take it beforehand (which also gives the GM some time to interpret the results).  Services like SurveyMonkey allow you to put such together for free (though may be limited to 10 questions, so pick the ones you think may be intriguing/useful), or you can do such in RPGGeek as well (though everyone would minimally need an account there), or even just use email or a spreadsheet.

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kaydet    51

I used the questionnaire in my first heroquest campaign, and made the mistake of using the version in the starter pack rather than the one in the book -- the latter of which which I believe contains a lot more information about the reasons and the stories behind all the questions. I would suggest using that version of you indeed choose to use one at all -- I think particularly for such a short campaign you'll get more bang for your buck by focusing on the characters rather than the clan.

My experience is that players care little about background for background's sake.

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Ian Cooper    278

There is a good and bad side to the clan creation questionnaire. The good is that it teaches the players about the mythic and real-world history of Glorantha. It sets up their clan's enemies and friends. The bad is that it is a lot of play before play, that may not be used.

You don't have to use the clan generator before play, you could play some sessions and return to it. Of course, some choices may not make sense once play has begun, your early sessions will pretty much reveal if the clan has thralls, what its attitude to the Empire is etc. but you can decide those results of you need to when the group comes to play.

Alternatively, as the GM you could indulge in solo-play to build the clan, learning about the setup yourself, and record the results on the clan record sheet. Then you can work in details of explanations for the players as it comes up in play. This means the players get less invested in those choices, but lowers their learning curve about Glorantha.

Indeed, if you use something like The Coming Storm, the clan generator results are pre-done for you in precisely this way. We recommend putting aside some time to run through them, but this could certainly be once a few sessions have passed and the players want to get into more detail. In your case this could well be a later campaign.

I would always focus on building a relationship map of key NPCs over the clan's mythic background, for the first few sessions.

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g33k    738
2 hours ago, Ian Cooper said:

... for the first few sessions.

But note the the OP is suggesting that "the first few sessions" is all there is... maybe all they anticipate ever playing...

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Khelbiros    8

Well, we did clan and character creation last night. Here's some post-mortems!

Clan Creation Questionnaire

My suggestion for those who were thinking of using the clan questionnaire to introduce new players to the setting is.... don't!  Overall, the group founded it confusing and even for the mythology buffs, it was hard to piece together the oral history of the clan due to the lack of context. The clan appeared to get reformed and broken many times. Gods are described as dead and then show up again in the next question. The 'mythic style' of writing we found awkward and hard to parse. There were some odd grammatical/sentence constructs. We were doing the quiz  round-robin, and people were picking some odd answers for the clan Wyter powers. We had a few laughs, but I think by the time the clan's storyline became coherent, people just wanted to push through and were picking odd answers.

I think it's good idea, but think that the clan quiz needs to streamlined and made more approachable for newcomers to Glorantha. At least before I'd use it again. I'd have something that clearly details the mythic progress of the clan through the  ages.

I've got the somewhat nihilistic clan report here for those interest: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QexzmZ5sWA5IcLNuvVHGRVjzUp9sfMf_l1gdp2lEN8g/edit?usp=sharing.

I'll edit this a bit before the next session. With the Wyter powers, should these be the clan treasures? Let me know if you've got any emergent plot suggestions/ideas for the clan.

I agree with the advice above to skip all this stuff, build characters, and then fit the clan around them than the other way around.

Character Creation

So we started to make characters using HeroQuest Glorantha. Some points:

  • One player wanted a robust list of abilities to pick from, rather than having to make them up. Is there such a thing for list-orientated players?
  • Why do breakouts cost 1 ability point in character creation, but are half the cost with XP? A player was arguing that these no mechanical benefit to taking breakouts in chargen with ability points, and you're better off picking only main abilities doing chargen and breakouts when you get to XP.
  • After picking runes and everything, another player was frustrated that none of his runes (Death, Law, Darkness) were encapsulated by a single god on the list. His preference would have been to start with a god and work backwards to get a collection of runes that could have all been activated for spells.  (He likes reading a book and understanding the entire ruleset before making up a character, so I've given him the HQG book for the week.) Is there are Death/Law/Darkness cult?
  • Is there a preferred house rule to decouple Hero Points from XP? My preference is for players to spend their HP points on boosting rolls, and just to get a flat amount of XP each session. What should this flat amount of XP be?

Let me know if you've got any suggestions. Cheers.

Next Session

I plan to finish character creation, get each PC to add some NPCs to the clan, and to do short, starting adventure.

 

 

Edited by Khelbiros

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Steve    372
9 hours ago, Khelbiros said:
  • Why do breakouts cost 1 ability point in character creation, but are half the cost with XP? A player was arguing that these no mechanical benefit to taking breakouts in chargen with ability points, and you're better off picking only main abilities doing chargen and breakouts when you get to XP.

By "XP", are you referring to Hero Points? I don't see this "half the cost" thing, but I'm probably missing something, sorry.

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Steve    372

Following up on my previous post - I think I see it now, second-to-last paragraph of RH column, page 46 of HQG rulebook. That's referring to increasing runes and keywords though, not specific abilities. It's because runes and keywords give you very broad abilities indeed, so naturally they're not so easy to increase as more narrow, specific abilities.

It's also talking about using the 12 points for increases that you're given as part of character creation. It doesn't have anything to do with Hero Points that you gain from play, which you may choose to use on increasing abilities (assuming that's what you meant by XP). It's just that the Hero Points that you gain can be used in the same way, i.e. one point to raise a regular ability, or two Hero Points to raise a rune or keyword.

 

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jajagappa    771
10 hours ago, Khelbiros said:

One player wanted a robust list of abilities to pick from, rather than having to make them up. Is there such a thing for list-orientated players?

Short answer: no.

Longer answer: the old HW/HQ1 versions had lots of explicit breakout abilities based on occupations.  You could mine sources like that (or even just take the skill lists from any other RPG) to create a list of abilities for a player to choose from.

The intent with the freeform abilities is to allow a player to express their vision of the character with abilities that are more colorful and dynamic than Sword Attack or Climb or Bargain.  But it's really up to players to decide how they want to approach it.

11 hours ago, Khelbiros said:

Why do breakouts cost 1 ability point in character creation, but are half the cost with XP?

They don't.  They cost 1 ability point in character creation and 1 Hero Point (or XP) when adding experience.  What is different is keywords.  It is easier to get keywords during character creation (1 point) vs. 2 Hero Points during experience.  This allows you to create a broader character at the start and avoids bumping up keywords with lots of breakouts later on (basically assumes that you've started to specialize as you get older).

11 hours ago, Khelbiros said:

Is there are Death/Law/Darkness cult?

None explicitly described.  Most cults only have two runes (e.g Humakt is Death and Truth; Zorak Zoran the troll berserker is Death and Darkness).  Closest would probably be Black Arkat (one of Arkat's incarnations) as the Law rune typically implies use of sorcery.

11 hours ago, Khelbiros said:

Is there a preferred house rule to decouple Hero Points from XP?

I don't decouple explicitly.  I give 3 HP's at the start of a session.  They can use for bumps, cementing relationships, or whatever during the session.  If they have any leftover, they can use for experience.  In a good, nail-biting session, they may not have any leftover.

However, I track where they've achieved Complete Victories or have scored Critical successes to get a Minor or Major Victory. 

If they have 2 or 3 HP's leftover, they use those.

If they have 1 HP leftover, they can use that and will also have the option to get +1 in one ability chosen from those where they had Complete Victories/Critical Success. 

If they have 0 HP leftover, they can get +1 in two abilities chosen from those where they had Complete Victories/Critical Success.

If they've used a keyword in a new, creative way where they got such a success, I'll propose that as a new breakout ability.

There may also be certain in session events that give some or all a new ability or breakout.

 

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jajagappa    771
11 hours ago, Khelbiros said:

The clan appeared to get reformed and broken many times.

Which is correct.  No clan truly survives intact from the days of myth to current times (let alone even a couple centuries ago to present).  The myths are those pieces that were carried forward that the clan now draws upon.

 

11 hours ago, Khelbiros said:

Gods are described as dead and then show up again in the next question.

The Gods World is not linear.  All myths are in some respects simultaneous: events may overlap, or appear repetitive with different figures, or even express a 'linear' aspect that isn't necessarily correct, etc.  So, yes, can be hard to parse if you don't have that in mind.

 

11 hours ago, Khelbiros said:

the somewhat nihilistic clan report here

Looks like some interesting choices!

 

11 hours ago, Khelbiros said:

With the Wyter powers, should these be the clan treasures?

The wyter itself will be a spirit of some sort and will be the source of some of those powers.  I typically have wyters with about 3 main powers: something Protective for the clan, something related to Awareness, and one other, often an ability to overcome some specific type of foe.  The rest I'd turn into either Clan Treasures (i.e. a magical object such as the Portent Stone which will reflect your final fortune if thrown and depends on what side is facing up) or a general clan ability (i.e. everyone in the clan starts with a general ability of Speak the Cursed Dog Tongue at 13).

Since it looks like your clan was aided by a Star Captain, it is quite possible that the wyter spirit IS the Star Captain.  When visible, the spirit floats "in a most peculiar way".  As Star Captains have powers related to Light (and perhaps not Heat/Fire), this may be the source of the ice sculptures turned into hard glass and one magical power the wyter possesses.

The ability to carve ice sculptures could be a clan treasure:  the Ice-cutting Bone (or whatever).

The Ratslaff/Trickster ability could be held in another clan treasure (seems less likely to be the wyter spirit, but that would be an alterate approach).

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jajagappa    771
On 5/26/2017 at 8:17 AM, jajagappa said:

I typically have wyters with about 3 main powers

Another example of a wyter is in Ian Cooper's The Coming Storm book.  The wyter of the Red Cow clan is Many-Breath, an ancient hero/spirit.  It has six abilities noted which the clan chief can draw upon.  The spirit manifests at Grave Hill, an ancient barrow, and the chieftain can enter the barrow to gain the relevant power (so these are powerful clan aids, but not often invoked).

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Khelbiros    8

@Steve - Thanks for the clarification. I'll pass that onto the group.

 

@Jajagappa - Thanks for the thorough feedback and response. Here's some responses in point form:

 

  • Robust list of skills - Maybe I can start compiling one if this mini campaign is a success. Some players did like the freeform list. There are just some people in the group who like preset lists for things like this.
  • HP - I might try it by the book and see how the group likes that.  It's a similar experience/benny point system to Numenera, which they didn't like, but we'll see how it goes this time.
  • Clan Questionnaire - I agree that the myths are chaotic. However, I could structure questionnaire around Greek mythology so we could see the progression of the myths throughout time e.g. Void -> Titans -> Uranus -> Cronus -> Zeus -> Olympian Rule -> Various demigods/mortal wars. However, I do believe that in it's current form, the questionnaire isn't good for new players. If the idea was to get new players interested in Gloranthan mythology and retain that interest, it wasn't a good fit due it its unclarity. For example, a Star Captain shows up in one of the answers. There's no context - is this a spirit or a guy with a spaceship? However, if the questionnaire introduced these concepts slowly instead and had context, it would be a lot stronger as a 'learn Glorantha' tool.
  • Wyters/Treasures. These suggestions look great! I'll rework some of the abilities and clan treasures.

 

Some more background; after two of the characters have darkness runes, and trolls are the clan's only allies, I've put the clan in the Torkani tribe.  

 

I'll drop by and give another update after the next session

 

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Joerg    861

Star Captains are powerful inhabitants of the sky, either native demigod sky people of the Fire Tribe, or powerful heroes (e.g. Orlanthi) who conquered a place in the Upper World and established themselves as a star. At least four of these returned to the Vingkotlings after Vingkot's Death and assisted remnants of broken tribes, creating successful new ones.

 

.

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jajagappa    771
11 hours ago, Khelbiros said:

it wasn't a good fit due it its unclarity. For example, a Star Captain shows up in one of the answers. There's no context

You raise a good question about the right level of background to get players acclimated to Glorantha.

Makes me think that the old HeroQuest Voices for the Orlanthi would be a better starting point:  http://glorantha.temppeli.org/resources/misc/hqv_heortling.pdf

As they get a feel for the society, and there is a need to flesh out the clan, maybe go to the questionnaire at that point (or else have GM put together the important details for the adventures, and leave select questions for the relevant time for the players to determine).

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Ian Cooper    278
On 26/05/2017 at 1:35 AM, Khelbiros said:

Character Creation

So we started to make characters using HeroQuest Glorantha. Some points:

  • One player wanted a robust list of abilities to pick from, rather than having to make them up. Is there such a thing for list-orientated players?
  • Why do breakouts cost 1 ability point in character creation, but are half the cost with XP? A player was arguing that these no mechanical benefit to taking breakouts in chargen with ability points, and you're better off picking only main abilities doing chargen and breakouts when you get to XP.
  • After picking runes and everything, another player was frustrated that none of his runes (Death, Law, Darkness) were encapsulated by a single god on the list. His preference would have been to start with a god and work backwards to get a collection of runes that could have all been activated for spells.  (He likes reading a book and understanding the entire ruleset before making up a character, so I've given him the HQG book for the week.) Is there are Death/Law/Darkness cult?
  • Is there a preferred house rule to decouple Hero Points from XP? My preference is for players to spend their HP points on boosting rolls, and just to get a flat amount of XP each session. What should this flat amount of XP be?

Let me know if you've got any suggestions. Cheers.

 

  • We have longer descriptions of the occupations in S:KoH over HQG so you could 'listify' those to create an ability set to pull from. We avoid this because as soon as we produce a list it is seen as 'all' not 'some'. However, you can break that description down (same for many divine affinity keywords).
  • Answered elsewhere, but yes at character generation you are better off increasing keywords with additional points in terms of point cost. Of course, those breakouts may gain specific ability bonuses...
  • Agreed, it can be frustrating not to discuss gods and their runes before a player picks their runes. Agran Argar is the main Orlanthi god of Darkness, but you are only going to get one matching rune with that set. You could alternatively pick Humakt, who does not care about your elemental rune. The trade-off here is between picking runes as 'who you are' as opposed to maximizing fit with a cult. If a player is keen on the latter, pick the cult first.
  • In that case I would give the PCs 1 HP and 2 XP per session. HP can be spent on a bump. XP can be spent on an increase. That fits with the expectations of the pass/fail cycle on advancement

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Ian Cooper    278
On 27/05/2017 at 2:56 PM, jajagappa said:

Another example of a wyter is in Ian Cooper's The Coming Storm book.  The wyter of the Red Cow clan is Many-Breath, an ancient hero/spirit.  It has six abilities noted which the clan chief can draw upon.  The spirit manifests at Grave Hill, an ancient barrow, and the chieftain can enter the barrow to gain the relevant power (so these are powerful clan aids, but not often invoked).

Indeed, part of the goal was to create an 'example' of how you put together a clan

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Akhôrahil    65
On 2017-05-26 at 2:35 AM, Khelbiros said:
  • Why do breakouts cost 1 ability point in character creation, but are half the cost with XP? A player was arguing that these no mechanical benefit to taking breakouts in chargen with ability points, and you're better off picking only main abilities doing chargen and breakouts when you get to XP
  • After picking runes and everything, another player was frustrated that none of his runes (Death, Law, Darkness) were encapsulated by a single god on the list. His preference would have been to start with a god and work backwards to get a collection of runes that could have all been activated for spells.  (He likes reading a book and understanding the entire ruleset before making up a character, so I've given him the HQG book for the week.) Is there are Death/Law/Darkness cult?
  • Is there a preferred house rule to decouple Hero Points from XP? My preference is for players to spend their HP points on boosting rolls, and just to get a flat amount of XP each session. What should this flat amount of XP be?

In order:

1. I think this is simply poor design, but it's also easily house-ruled.

2. I can definitely see this. Probably ask for a character concept first, then help guide towards a functional "build".

3. I don't like the rules design here – using Hero Points in play for bumps makes you awesome, and you shouldn't be discouraged from awesomeness. Trying to be "cheap" with your Hero Points seems to go against all the spirit of the game, yet really does pay. I would use the following house rule: You can use unspent Hero Points for character development however you like. But when you use a Hero Point for a bump, that also counts as spending it to develop that ability (make a mark on the character sheet).

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Tindalos    120
On 26/05/2017 at 1:35 AM, Khelbiros said:

 

  • After picking runes and everything, another player was frustrated that none of his runes (Death, Law, Darkness) were encapsulated by a single god on the list. His preference would have been to start with a god and work backwards to get a collection of runes that could have all been activated for spells.  (He likes reading a book and understanding the entire ruleset before making up a character, so I've given him the HQG book for the week.) Is there are Death/Law/Darkness cult?

Not all your runes have to be used for rune magic, but others could be used for personality traits, basic magic, (133-134 HQ:G)

With those selections, Argan Argar, Humakt, and Zorak Zoran are all relatively plausible options.

My personal recommendation would be for them to worship Argan Argar and Humakt, through the cults' shared connections to Arkat; gaining death magic from the Sword God, and darkness magic from the speaker in darkness. Their Law Rune would provide them with a free grimoire as well, which they could fill with Arkati spells.

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Khelbiros    8

Thanks for the feedback. It's helping me figure out the game and setting.

 

More updates!  We finished making characters and We started a small introductionary adventure. 

 

 

  • The player who read the book complained about the 'mined' bronze in the setting, and said this sort of ruins the standard bronze age enconomy of trading/making bronze. After some discussion, we got the game going agian.
  • The player with the Darkness/Law/Death runes changed to Darkness/Communication and Argan Argar.

Some more questions!

 

  1. Should the ability 'Initiate of [Deity]' be a standard ability or a breakout under a rune? In the example characters, it looked like a breakout, but it's not really a spell. I thought only spells went under runes.
  2. If spells are specific breakouts under runes, does that mean that they're cheaper than buying normal abilities?
  3. Can other abilities suggested in the template (e.g. Characteristic) be stand alone abilities or breakouts under other abilities? One character had the characteristic as a breakout under occupation.
  4. We were confused about what was convered by occupation skills and what was covered by general abilities.  A PC with a hunter occupation wanted a specific sneaking ability and we weren't sure where to put it. I ended up ruling that occupational skills were more about knowledge and players should stuff like hunting and and fighting as specific abilities.
  5. The PCs did standard adventury things like hagging, tracking and exploring. They failed a lot of the rolls, as I kept rolling higher than them.  We discussed whether to) only have PCs roll without the GM's roll, or to only roll for something important and significant. The two rolls does mean that you get  lots of marginal victories/defeats.
Edited by Khelbiros

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Richard S.    47
40 minutes ago, Khelbiros said:

 

  1. Should the ability 'Initiate of [Deity]' be a standard ability or a breakout under a rune? In the example characters, it looked like a breakout, but it's not really a spell. I thought only spells went under runes.
  2. If spells are specific breakouts under runes, does that mean that they're cheaper than buying normal abilities?
  3. Can other abilities suggested in the template (e.g. Characteristic) be stand alone abilities or breakouts under other abilities? One character had the characteristic as a breakout under occupation.
  4. We were confused about what was convered by occupation skills and what was covered by general abilities.  A PC with a hunter occupation wanted a specific sneaking ability and we weren't sure where to put it. I ended up ruling that occupational skills were more about knowledge and players should stuff like hunting and and fighting as specific abilities.
  5. The PCs did standard adventury things like hagging, tracking and exploring. They failed a lot of the rolls, as I kept rolling higher than them.  We discussed whether to) only have PCs roll without the GM's roll, or to only roll for something important and significant. The two rolls does mean that you get  lots of marginal victories/defeats.
  1. "Initiate of [Deity]" is not an ability, you just write it down next to the rune which you've initiated to the god with, and use that rune as an "Initiate of [Deity]" type keyword when it's needed.
  2. Abilities and Breakouts cost 1 Hero Point each when bought.
  3. If a keyword seems to imply a certain characteristic then you can treat it like a breakout if you want.
  4. If the player thinks that sneaking around would be something that a hunter would do and that this is one of the things which their character did as a hunter than by all means use it as a breakout.
  5. In the core HQ2 rulebook (Not HQ:G), there are guidelines for how to adjust difficulty based on how many consecutive victories/defeats the PCs have had, I suggest you look into those if you haven't already.
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jajagappa    771
28 minutes ago, Khelbiros said:

Should the ability 'Initiate of [Deity]' be a standard ability or a breakout under a rune? In the example characters, it looked like a breakout, but it's not really a spell. I thought only spells went under runes.

It's neither a breakout nor separate ability.  It's basically noted under whichever Rune you approach the deity with, but it functions at the same level as the Rune (think of it as inheriting the Rune keyword value).

31 minutes ago, Khelbiros said:

If spells are specific breakouts under runes, does that mean that they're cheaper than buying normal abilities?

No, all breakouts and other abilities cost the same.  Only adding/increasing keywords costs more.

 

32 minutes ago, Khelbiros said:

Can other abilities suggested in the template (e.g. Characteristic) be stand alone abilities or breakouts under other abilities? One character had the characteristic as a breakout under occupation.

They can be wherever the player prefers.  Generally my players take the distinguishing characteristic (e.g. Happy-go-Lucky, Hard-boiled, Friendly) as a standalone ability separate from the Occupation. 

As it notes on p.35: "Add your distinguishing characteristic as an ability. It starts at 17 (unless it is a breakout from another keyword).

37 minutes ago, Khelbiros said:

We were confused about what was convered by occupation skills and what was covered by general abilities.  A PC with a hunter occupation wanted a specific sneaking ability and we weren't sure where to put it. I ended up ruling that occupational skills were more about knowledge and players should stuff like hunting and and fighting as specific abilities.

Wherever the player feels like putting it.  I've had players put abilities under Occupation, under Runes, or standalone.  If you put it under a Rune, I consider it a magical effect (whether spell or ability is up to the player).  It might be less effective in some conditions as a result, or could be lost altogether if the character loses or changes a Rune (and, yes, that has happened in my games).  Also if its put under a Rune, it cannot be augmented by that Rune. 

There's not too much difference if it is a breakout under an Occupation or standalone.  Although not explicitly stated that I recall, I play that you cannot augment a breakout ability with its keyword.  That can have implications.

53 minutes ago, Khelbiros said:

The PCs did standard adventury things like hagging, tracking and exploring. They failed a lot of the rolls, as I kept rolling higher than them.  We discussed whether to) only have PCs roll without the GM's roll, or to only roll for something important and significant. The two rolls does mean that you get  lots of marginal victories/defeats.

Remember that specific abilities (breakouts and standalone abilities) can get the Specific Ability Bonus.  That can help increase their level of success. 

Also, there's no need for rolls on everything if you as a GM feel that it does not need a roll, or that it is a case of Low Difficulty. 

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Tindalos    120
1 hour ago, Khelbiros said:

The player who read the book complained about the 'mined' bronze in the setting, and said this sort of ruins the standard bronze age enconomy of trading/making bronze. After some discussion, we got the game going agian.

The actual reason behind this is it's not actually bronze as we know it. It's just a red metal, created by alloying together the brown metal (an analogue to earthly copper) and the white metal (roughly similar to earthly tin.) It's more useful than it's parent metals, so it's used as a basic metal for everyone. Because it's akin to bronze, we call it that for simplicity's sake.

But if the bronze ore is a real problem for them, there are two other potential explanations:

  • It's not actually bronze, but brass (which has often been linked with Gloranthan bronze.) Sometimes zinc rich copper ores are discovered, and smelted creating a semi-natural alloy during the forging process. It's been suggested that the Assyrian "copper of the mountains" was in fact a natural ore deposit like this.
  • The bronze "ores" that are discovered are actually ancient bronze objects from the period called the Storm Age, these included many weapons, tools, and votive objects (such as bones.) Many of these were destroyed, crushed, maimed, in the dark age which followed. The modern day "bronze ores" which are dug up are these twisted and otherwise unidentified bronze nodules. (I think there may be a technical term for this, but it's completely slipped my mind)

 

2 hours ago, Khelbiros said:
  1. We were confused about what was convered by occupation skills and what was covered by general abilities.  A PC with a hunter occupation wanted a specific sneaking ability and we weren't sure where to put it. I ended up ruling that occupational skills were more about knowledge and players should stuff like hunting and and fighting as specific abilities.

Keywords generally include everything associated with that career, not just knowledge. The old Hero Wars game split things into physical and mental abilities, also included equipment and personality traits.

Now all of those are just an implicit part of the keyword. No hunter is going to go without the tools of their trade such as traps, or bow, or javelin (depending on their culture) unless the circumstances are special.

This doesn't mean, however, that a sneaking ability would necessarily be part of their hunter keyword, it depends on how they phrase it. If they wanted it to be a breakout, it should be something like "animal stalking," or "wilderness sneaking." Something that shows it's part of their day to day life as a hunter. Using it to, for example, stealthily follow a human through Pavis would be a stretch (HQ:G page 103)

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