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CruelDespot

Stats for NPCS: Starbrow, Fazzur, Argrath, etc

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I'm new to Glorantha and I am starting to GM a campaign using the preview edition of the new RQ (earned my copy GMing at GENCON). I am trying to run a campaign for Colymar Tribe characters starting in 1625 (starting with the intro scenario in the quickstart rules). Please forgive my Glorantha newbie questions, but I could use some help from veterans to absorb all this material.

Where can I find RQ stats for the important NPCs like Starbrow, Argrath, Fazzur Wideread, etc? Especially Beti Orlkensorsdotter, who I gather would be the current Colymar Queen and therefore the most likely for the PCs to encounter first. 

I've been reading *King of Sartar* (the 1992 book, not the comic; well actually both) so I am gaining some familiarity with the upcoming events and important NPCs, but where do I get their stats?

After some determined googling, I figured out that stats for the Crimson Bat are in *Cults of Terror*. What other references should I acquire to get the stats for other NPCs that they may encounter in and around Sartar during the Hero Wars? Any leads would be appreciated.

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You can't find stats for Starbrow, Argrath, or Beti (although I do have Beti's character sheet), at least until RQG comes out. Currently Queen Leika is in one of the GM Pack scenarios, although she might wait until the GM book (along with Redbird and a few others like Asborn Thriceborn). 

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The stats you're looking for don't exist. I would suggest a simple table to help you figure out what you actually need when dealing with them. This is what I'm using to run RQG in my Prax play test, it's based on the Council skills of the King of Dragon Pass Game and a table of my own devising. As a rough and ready approach it works pretty well.

Before meeting an important NPC. I rough them out as to how I see them, with important abilities, you don't need them all! I print out a small sheet with this list on then as needed add levels. They shouldn't be good at everything:

Here's Beti completely made up. "who I gather would be the current Colymar Queen and therefore the most likely for the PCs to encounter first." 

Primary abilities

Animals
Bargaining
Combat        
Customs Excellent (She's the Queen)
Leadership Excellent (She's the Queen)
Magic Excellent (likely a Rune Lord)
Plants
Wealth

Secondary abilities - best of
Deception (Bargaining or Leadership) 
Diplomacy (Bargaining or Custom) 
Exploring (Bargaining or Combat)
Farming (Animals or Plants)
Hunting (Animals or Combat or Plants)
Poetry (Custom or Leadership)
Prophecy (Magic or Leadership)
Strategy (Combat or Leadership)

----------

Reference (this works for me)

Primary abilities

Animals
Bargaining
Combat
Customs
Leadership
Magic
Plants
Wealth

Secondary abilities - best of
Deception (Bargaining or Leadership)
Diplomacy (Bargaining or Custom)
Exploring (Bargaining or Combat)
Farming (Animals or Plants)
Hunting (Animals or Combat or Plants)
Poetry (Custom or Leadership)
Prophecy (Magic or Leadership)
Strategy (Combat or Leadership)

 

Fair

Good

Very Good

Excellent

Renowned

Heroic

%

50

70

80

90

120

150

Spirit Magic points

D6 (3)

6 + D6 (9)

9 + D6 (12)

Shaman

12 + D6

15 + D6 (18)

18 + D6 (21)

Rune Magicpoints

Initiate 0

Initiate D2 (1)

Initiate 2 + D4 (4)

Rune Level 4 + D6 (7)

10 + D6 (13)

15 + D10 (20)

Helper spirits / allied spirits

 

 

D2 -1 (0)

D2 (1)

D4 (2)

D6 (3)

Magic Items

0

0

D2 -1 (0)

D2 (1)

D3 (2)

D4 (2)

Hit Points

12

15

18

20

22

24

Armour

4

5

6

8

10

12

Edited by David Scott
HP & Armour updated to reflect later post
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I just realised I cut and pasted an older version of the table, the last two rows were upgraded to reflect magic in place.

Hit Points

12

15

18

20

22

24

Armour

4

5

6

8

10

12

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50 minutes ago, soltakss said:

Wasn't Fazzur written up somehwhere? I vaguely remember a writeup in Wyrms Footnotes, maybe.

Yes, Fazzur appears in WF12 as part of the Personalities of Dragon Pass series.

Others in the series were:

WF11: Londra of Londros

WF13: Rurik Runespear (included in the RQ2 Classic edition reprint)

WF14: Master Lord-Prince of Four Jewels, and his attendants in the Dragonewts' March (who got illustrated in the Dragonewts chapter of GtG)

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On 9/12/2017 at 7:24 AM, CruelDespot said:

. What other references should I acquire to get the stats for other NPCs that they may encounter in and around Sartar during the Hero Wars? Any leads would be appreciated.

To be honest you probably don't really need those stats, not really want them for play (wanting them to look at is another thing). The reason being that since those NPCs are so powerful, and have such a major effect on the events that take place you don't want to put your PCs in situations where they could come into direct conflict with them. Either the NPCs will be so powerful as to wipe out the player characters, or the Pcs take down a major player and significantly alter the timeline.

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41 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

To be honest you probably don't really need those stats, not really want them for play (wanting them to look at is another thing). The reason being that since those NPCs are so powerful, and have such a major effect on the events that take place you don't want to put your PCs in situations where they could come into direct conflict with them. Either the NPCs will be so powerful as to wipe out the player characters, or the Pcs take down a major player and significantly alter the timeline.

If the players are foolish enough to attack such powerful characters then they should bear the consequences of their actions.

They will either die heroically facing terrible odds; or they will triumph, defeat a great adversary, and make a lasting mark on the world of Glorantha. Why would you deny them either opportunity?

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8 hours ago, GianniVacca said:

You can find them in Wyrms Footprints (usually not-to-difficult to, find on ebay and similar sites), which collects the best articles from old issues of Wyrms Footnotes.

Two problems with that:  first, those stats are for D&D, and none of them approach what I would call Hero- or Superhero-level power, surprising since they were written by Dave Hargrave and would be beaten senseless in an Arduin Grimoire-power game.  Jar-Eel at level 12?  Really?

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On 9/28/2017 at 11:28 AM, kaydet said:

If the players are foolish enough to attack such powerful characters then they should bear the consequences of their actions.

And the GM doesn't need the NPC game stats for that to happen. It's like pulling out Superman's stat sheet when a mugger jumps Clark Kent.

On 9/28/2017 at 11:28 AM, kaydet said:

They will either die heroically facing terrible odds; or they will triumph, defeat a great adversary, and make a lasting mark on the world of Glorantha. Why would you deny them either opportunity?

Because either outcome is desirable, nor should they be encouraged. Both outcomes will effectively end the campaign, and neither option really need game stats.

In the first and most likely) case the PCs get killed off, beaten down, whatever so fast they won't need to bother with stats. In the second case, the PCs probably wont be around long enough to enjoy their success when the entourage and affiliated cults kick into action.

 

But, again, you don't need the NPC game stats to handle such a situation. Unless tje Crimson Bat or Harrack the Bersek fumble, a PC is pretty much dead. It's like knowing  how many megatons the bomb was. Its not like a PC could withstand a 1 kiloton blast, let along anything in the megaton range, so you don't need to know. 

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On 9/28/2017 at 10:53 AM, Richard S. said:

And how is this bad? :P

Because will almost certainly end the campaign. At the very least it will force the Gm to do alot of work working out what will happen in the campaign, probably for nothing, since such reckless player probably won't be lasting too long with any characters.

 

Now if the PCs have actually been developled into the same leauge as the major Heroes of the Fourth Age it would be different, but I've never see a PC built up to Harrack's ability. 

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5 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Because will almost certainly end the campaign.

 

Why?

Unless the campaign hangs on the fact that Argrath becomes King of Dragon Pass, it shouldn;t end the camapign. It might send the campaign in a different direction, but shouldn't end it.

 

5 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

At the very least it will force the Gm to do alot of work working out what will happen in the campaign, probably for nothing, since such reckless player probably won't be lasting too long with any characters.

GMs always do a lot of work makking any published campaign fit the gaming campaign, so extra work is fine.

Characters who kill major NPCs are not necessary reckless. There might be a good reason to kill Garrath Sharpsword, or Kallyr Starbrow. If they go out to kill them because it will destabilise the campaign, then that might be reckless, but just alters the campaign.

If major NPCs are killed, the GM can cope in many ways:

  • Some other NPC steps in and fills the dead NPC's boots
  • The dead NPC's actions are completed in slightly different ways, perhaps by a number of NPCs
  • PCs take over and do some of the things expected to be done by the dead NPC
  • The things the dead NPC was supposed to do just don't happen
  • Something else

None of these are right or wrong, they just allow the GM to continue the campaign.

5 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

Now if the PCs have actually been developled into the same leauge as the major Heroes of the Fourth Age it would be different, but I've never see a PC built up to Harrack's ability. 

Two PCs in our current campaign defeated Harrek in a Contest of Death, bevoming Masters of Death instead of Harrek. One of them even faced harrek in single combat, he lost, but not by much.

I think that PCs who are in a lomng-running campaign can become Heroes in the same mould as the likes of Harrek and Jar-Eel. Lesser Heroes such as Argrath or Kallyr Starbrow are fair game.

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4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

And the GM doesn't need the NPC game stats for that to happen. It's like pulling out Superman's stat sheet when a mugger jumps Clark Kent.

You're making the assumption that your players can never attain a level of power or effectiveness that will allow them to rival powerful NPCs. That's a mistake as far as I'm concerned, since you're curtailing your players because of narrative fiat. I agree that it should be difficult and rare for PCs to become akin to such lofty figures as Hofstaring Treeleaper and Kallyr Starbrow, but why should it be impossible? And furthermore, why should it be impossible that they come up with an effective plan to neutralize them even if they are not their equals?

4 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Because either outcome is desirable, nor should they be encouraged. Both outcomes will effectively end the campaign, and neither option really need game stats.

(I'm assuming that you meant "neither outcome)

Your game is your game, so if the narrative-focused, tight storyline is what you and your players enjoy then more power to you. I believe that it is much more fulfilling to allow players a freer hand to interact with the world, grow, and leave their own mark.

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22 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Because will almost certainly end the campaign. At the very least it will force the Gm to do alot of work working out what will happen in the campaign, probably for nothing, since such reckless player probably won't be lasting too long with any characters.

I find this a very interesting question in the development of storytelling in Glorantha. It has a crossover too into Pendragon for me where it's very possible to kill major characters - in my campaign a PC killed king Lot in a chance encounter very early on in the game, before he married Morgause, so Gwain was never born!

I have no issue in my games of the heroes altering the story. It happens all the time. I actually hope that it's my group that tear down the Red Moon. A lot of it for me is that is group are on their way to doing epic thing and making the history. Fortunately the future history of Glorantha is only broad brushstrokes so it would be easy for me to let them do it. If you'd like to see a supplement that lets the players act in this way, I can recommend the Return-of-the-Scarlet-Empress for Exalted. It contains broad strokes of the metaplot and how to act in it with your group.

22 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Now if the PCs have actually been developled into the same leauge as the major Heroes of the Fourth Age it would be different, but I've never see a PC built up to Harrack's ability. 

My groups heroes are on their way to doing this. They are gradually doing more and more epic things. They've been to the Moon and planted the EWF banner there, they are starting up dragon magics, uncovering epic powers (they actually caused the Dragonrise). So it's about expectations. None of my group would likely take on Harrek or Argrath or even Jar-eel at the moment. But they would say, oooh that's a cool bearskin where can I get one, that's cool teeth magic i'd like to learn that, Jar-eel well lets see if there's an easier way to take her out rather than fighting her. I encourage my players to heroform gods - when fighting epic bros - they become Storm Bull, the broo becomes Ragnaglar, they're 160' tall and smash scenery. They've learned that pulling adversaries into your otherworld gives you a mythic advantage.

I love running epic games, but this is my preference. Your group may vary and so may your storytelling style.

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22 hours ago, soltakss said:

Why?

Unless the campaign hangs on the fact that Argrath becomes King of Dragon Pass, it shouldn;t end the camapign. It might send the campaign in a different direction, but shouldn't end it.

Yes, but going off in a different direction means that you won't be following the timeline that much. 

22 hours ago, soltakss said:

 

GMs always do a lot of work makking any published campaign fit the gaming campaign, so extra work is fine.

Characters who kill major NPCs are not necessary reckless. There might be a good reason to kill Garrath Sharpsword, or Kallyr Starbrow. If they go out to kill them because it will destabilise the campaign, then that might be reckless, but just alters the campaign.

If major NPCs are killed, the GM can cope in many ways:

  • Some other NPC steps in and fills the dead NPC's boots
  • The dead NPC's actions are completed in slightly different ways, perhaps by a number of NPCs
  • PCs take over and do some of the things expected to be done by the dead NPC
  • The things the dead NPC was supposed to do just don't happen
  • Something else

None of these are right or wrong, they just allow the GM to continue the campaign.

Two PCs in our current campaign defeated Harrek in a Contest of Death, bevoming Masters of Death instead of Harrek. One of them even faced harrek in single combat, he lost, but not by much.

 

22 hours ago, soltakss said:

I think that PCs who are in a lomng-running campaign can become Heroes in the same mould as the likes of Harrek and Jar-Eel. Lesser Heroes such as Argrath or Kallyr Starbrow are fair game.

Sure, but I don't think you need thier game stats to do so. All you really need for such encounters are some sort of "benchmarks" to show what is considered good, great, exceptional, etc. in the game. A lotof that though is determined by how the PCs develop in a given campaign, and isn't an absolute. 

That's why a lot of the old D&D writeups in Wryms Footnotes for those don't seem to make much sense now. Back in the early days, not as many people had played for a long enough time to build up PCs to 10th level or higher, so a 12th level character seemed pretty tough. Much of the same thing happened in Pendragon, a game with an established timeline and powerful NPCs that the PCs can interact with, and possibly even kill. The orginal stats for Arthur, Lancelot and such were okay back when Pendragon first came out, but are woefully underpowered in Pendragon now. But the gneric benkmarks of what makes a poor, average, good knight hold up much better and are easier to adjust as time goes by.  

 

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7 minutes ago, David Scott said:

I find this a very interesting question in the development of storytelling in Glorantha. It has a crossover too into Pendragon for me where it's very possible to kill major characters - in my campaign a PC killed king Lot in a chance encounter very early on in the game, before he married Morgause, so Gwain was never born!

Yeah, there is a lot of Pendragon on my mind with this topic. I'm not opposed to PCs alterting the storyline for a campaign. Frankly, that's the point of the game, isn't it? Otherwise we could just read a book or watch a film. But I think for anything major the GM should probably write up their own customized stats to better reflect the power levels of his campaign. 

 

7 minutes ago, David Scott said:

I love running epic games, but this is my preference. Your group may vary and so may your storytelling style.

I don't mind epic games, but they tend to place epic demands on the PCs- who may or may not be up to the challenge. One idea that I've had kicking around for decades was a Pendragon campaign where one of the PCs is, to everyone's surprise, actually Arthur, and when he takes a shot a pulling the Sword out of the Stone , he succeeds. It would make for a very interesting game, with the PCs ending up in positions taken by great knights in the stories. But, such a campaign could prove to be very tough on the PCs, since they would be forced into a lot of tough situations that Arthur and his Knights had to deal with in the stories, and they probably won't manage to be as heroic or successful at overcoming the odds. 

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38 minutes ago, Atgxtg said:

The orginal stats for Arthur, Lancelot and such were okay back when Pendragon first came out, but are woefully underpowered in Pendragon now. But the gneric benkmarks of what makes a poor, average, good knight hold up much better and are easier to adjust as time goes by.  

You should take a look at the Great Pendragon Campaign - it has it all.

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3 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

... But, such a campaign could prove to be very tough on the PCs, since they would be forced into a lot of tough situations that Arthur and his Knights had to deal with in the stories, and they probably won't manage to be as heroic or successful at overcoming the odds. 

Maybe use HeroPoints to compensate, since the PC's are operating at a "more-heroic" level than the game is designed for?

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On 10/1/2017 at 12:03 PM, David Scott said:

You should take a look at the Great Pendragon Campaign - it has it all.

Got it (years ago),  although If I recall correctly, it doesn't have it all. Stats for the major NPCs were cut from the book but later released online as a PDF. Unless they were restored in a later printing. 

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On 10/1/2017 at 3:30 PM, g33k said:

Maybe use HeroPoints to compensate, since the PC's are operating at a "more-heroic" level than the game is designed for?

I figured the best approach Not all that fond of that approach. Basically if you start accommodating for it being tough in that way, it no longer is heroic,or all that tough. Think AD&D where the PC fighters can have three times the hit points of the dragons. 

I figure the best approach is to rely on the few friendly powerful NPCs that Arthur has in the beginning, especially Merlin (allows the GM to fudge quite a bit using "it's magic" excuse), and then try to squeeze in enough training to let the PCs hold out-specially Battle skill. That's what happens in the stories. There is one instance where Merlin pretty much aves Arthur from being killed by Pellinore. Of course, knowing what would be in store for the characters I could prep them a little (or a lot) with adventures that take place before the Sword in the Stone and the big reveal.

 

Anyway, back to the topic, I figure that any GM who is willing to let the PCs derail/alter the timeline of events by fighting one of the major heroes of the age should be prepared to work up game stats for said hero. But I would like to see RQ Gloranthan benchmark NPC stats similar to how they did in in Pendragon and RQ3's Vikings to give us some type of idea of what the scale is. 

 

 

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On 10/3/2017 at 5:00 PM, Atgxtg said:

I figured the best approach Not all that fond of that approach. Basically if you start accommodating for it being tough in that way, it no longer is heroic,or all that tough. Think AD&D where the PC fighters can have three times the hit points of the dragons. 

I figure the best approach is to rely on the few friendly powerful NPCs that Arthur has in the beginning, especially Merlin (allows the GM to fudge quite a bit using "it's magic" excuse), and then try to squeeze in enough training to let the PCs hold out-specially Battle skill. That's what happens in the stories. There is one instance where Merlin pretty much aves Arthur from being killed by Pellinore. Of course, knowing what would be in store for the characters I could prep them a little (or a lot) with adventures that take place before the Sword in the Stone and the big reveal.

 

Anyway, back to the topic, I figure that any GM who is willing to let the PCs derail/alter the timeline of events by fighting one of the major heroes of the age should be prepared to work up game stats for said hero. But I would like to see RQ Gloranthan benchmark NPC stats similar to how they did in in Pendragon and RQ3's Vikings to give us some type of idea of what the scale is. 

 

 

We've got that covered. In the scenario booklet that comes with the GM Pack, we've got statted up figures that include a tribal king, the high priestess of an Earth Temple, a chieftain or two, their bodyguards, some Issaries priests, etc. Very similar to what was done in Griffin Mountain. 

And in the second wave of releases, we are doing a big book of statted-up encounters. Need a dark troll war party? Here it is. Need a Grazelander war band? Here it is. And so on.

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2 hours ago, Jeff said:

We've got that covered. In the scenario booklet that comes with the GM Pack, we've got statted up figures that include a tribal king, the high priestess of an Earth Temple, a chieftain or two, their bodyguards, some Issaries priests, etc. Very similar to what was done in Griffin Mountain. 

And in the second wave of releases, we are doing a big book of statted-up encounters. Need a dark troll war party? Here it is. Need a Grazelander war band? Here it is. And so on.

If you could do something similar to the encounters section in the Sartar Companion (but with RQG stats!) that would be great, IMHO. 

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