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Gloranthan themed birthday party.


Belgath

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OK I know this is a bit of an unusual request.   After having gone to Gen Con with my children and having  a wonderful time there, two of my girls wanted to dress up during the convention as the Gloranthan PCs.  They got to play the quick star rules at Gen Con as Vasana and Yanionth.   It went over really well for them and the People at Chaosium were great and made it a neat experience for them.  It was a fun experience for me as well!  Greg Stafford was a old family friend that had given me a copy of RuneQuest back in the 1978 - 79 timeframe.   It's was fun for me to explain how role-playing got started in our family.   I can honestly say my kids had more fun at Gen Con than Disney World!   I asked my daughter why and  she said: "Because I get to be myself and imagine fun things, and nobody mocks me or bullies me for having an imagination!"  So, naturally, Gen Con will become a tradition for us.   Now, on to my main question...my youngest daughter really wants a Gloranthan themed birthday party.   I'm talking she said she wanted Glorathan food, coins, swords (foam of course) a dungeon adventure like the larp dungeons at Gen Con and more.  The coins I can 3-D print for her.  The rest of the stuff I'm not quite sure if I'm thinking of getting some Renaissance actors or groups you can hire for parties and giving them enough information to make it more Glorathan.   I have until May to pull this off, but any ideas would be very helpful as I've never done anything like this before.   She is eager to have her entire grade attend, and I'd love to make her birthday party a huge success for all to remember forever. The more ideas the better. 

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On the conventions over here in Germany, we have some experience with trollball for young convention members, and Eternal Con has run several freeforms for kids (although no Gloranthan ones, yet). Life Action Trollball has very soft weapons, probably softer than your daughter would want to use, but over the years a couple of useful or strange ideas have been explored.

When you say her entire grade is going to attend the freeform, how many kids are you talking about, and how old?

How much Gloranthan cultism can you offer before being branded as the antichrist?

How serious do you want things to be, or rather, how serious will your daughter want things to be?

 

A tribal moot leading into a heroquest might be a good Gloranthan setting. You could have a few groups as the clans of the tribe, trying to deal with a problem, and coming up with a heroquest that allows them to deal with it. One of the tribal wise folk would need to outline the story they expect to play out, ideally in barbarian dramatic voice. There can be a few questers, drawn from the clans through contests, and the rest can step up to impersonate the resistance or the supporters - not very different from the way Gloranthans perform low level heroquests. (You would need masks for the deities they impersonate, and small scripts to declamate before exchanging their on words, or spells and blows...)

Spells could be tossed as small water bombs - these are fairly harmless. Beach tennis foam balls make less of a mess. At trollball, the healer sprinkles her patients with flour, causing an unholy mess but offering another way to visualize magic. You might want to use some industrial fairy dust or confetti instead, depending on where you are going to stage the event. Water bombs assume an outdoors setting. Dungeons or similar could use a barn (and straw bales might make good interior terrain, too). Cardboard boxes can provide some walls, textile sheets or leftover newspaper paper rolls or one-use paper table-sheets might be used for other walls, if you want to create rooms to explore. If building such settings, keep security concerns in mind, though, including fire hazard, and have a plan for first aid personnel and equipment.

 

The freeform games for our adult players usually have rock paper scissors as combat mode rather than soft weapons. That way, players with less physical presence can still achieve victories. Specialists may win on a tie or redo a contest once, or have one free loss.

A mix of soft weapon combat and rock paper scissors stuff could be used, too.

 

The trick with freeforms is to keep every player engaged and inside the game. If your players are mostly new to this kind of gaming, that's quite a big bid, so maybe the event could be more of a fair, with numerous short games or encounters sort of in-character. This could combine the old scavenger hunt with some life action and roleplaying challenges, with rewards and other, inclusive activities in between. Things like crossing an (imaginary, wool-blanket) chasm or river on two ropes (or a rope and a slackline) or similar physical activity might be included. Requiring rhymes for semi-silly poetry about the event could be another, creative challenge to the players. Audience participation in the challenges would be great. (And for a birthday party, small rewards...)

Costuming a horde of casual visitors will be either rather slapdash with mostly props, badges and possibly masks, or will require a lot of preparation. Bodypaint rune tattoos will help a lot, there. Preparing for the game might be part of the event.

You will need quite a few referees, who will also impersonate certain NPC encounters. Five players per referee if you need more intensive shepherding, up to ten per referee if the players have interactions among themselves. Getting newcomers to do so may require a few more assistant referees, who also can serve as recurring NPCs. In fact, almost all referees can have an in-game role as well.

 

Gloramthan food can be several things, as various Eat at Geos events proved. Troll food usually is icky-looking stuff like elf fingers or other stuff (e.g. made from dough and frosting). Consult e.g. Nanny Ogg's Cookbook (especially the rat pizza) for ideas how to present thematic-looking foodstuff.

Other entries used to be traditional foodstuff or drinks (most of the latter won't do on a kids birthday party, though) slightly put into a Gloranthan context.

Trying to do an authentic Gloranthan kitchen, perhaps with a roast over a firepit, should work, too (beware the dread porridge...). Having a chieftain or king carve that up and reward his followers according to rank and accomplishments (that the recipient will have to boast about) might make a nice episode in the game, although you might have to check for vegetarians or other food taboos among the participants. Campfire foods always work in my experience.

 

Preparing the guests for the event in advance might be a good idea. If you have a story to tell or similar, perhaps prepare a few videos rather than providing written handouts.

 

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10 minutes ago, Joerg said:

When you say her entire grade is going to attend the freeform, how many kids are you talking about, and how old?

How much Gloranthan cultism can you offer before being branded as the antichrist?

How serious do you want things to be, or rather, how serious will your daughter want things to be?

I would say 8 to 12 kids, 10 to 12 years old.

Gloranthan cultism I would probably keep lite Khan of Khans lvl maybe a bit deeper keep it fun and light.

My daughter wants to role play in the world larp style, I just want make sure everything is kept fun and light enough that the other kids enjoy it and she doesn't get teased about it later on. 

Have have 3D printers and boxes of scrap leather so making leather armor and printed prop pieces should be fairly easy. Maybe have the kids add runes to leather armor and make foam swords and Shields.

I really like a lot of your ideas the troll food sounds great.

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1 minute ago, Belgath said:

I would say 8 to 12 kids, 10 to 12 years old.

Thats two groups ("clans" or cults) with slightly different goals, then, forced to cooperate. Two full-time referees/narrators and a few NPCs should be all you need for gaming, and possibly some assistance to rearrange props and settings between the scenes. And of course a team doing the catering (whether the main event food or the little rewards in between).

1 minute ago, Belgath said:

Gloranthan cultism I would probably keep lite Khan of Khans lvl maybe a bit deeper keep it fun and light.

So - runes are in, general stuff like "storm god, odd rhyming, emotional" for Orlanth will do.

It would be great if one had access to illustrations like Elusu telling the Cradles Story in  the Prince of Sartar webcomic, tailored for your scenario.

1 minute ago, Belgath said:

My daughter wants to role play in the world larp style, I just want make sure everything is kept fun and light enough that the other kids enjoy it and she doesn't get teased about it later on. 

I have some experience as the troll ball giant referee with shy kids unwilling to leave their comfort zone. You need to build up some enthusiasm for the game or at least for the rewards you are offering.

Getting people to hack at others with soft weapons might be an initial barrier, but that might be lowered by some "training" with props you need to hid for a reward. Not quite pinatas - the trainee swordsmen and -women should see what their doing, but you get the idea. Being able to beat up an adult NPC might lower the barrier too, at least slightly.

 

Not to get teased about it: no guarantee can be given. Making a few cool videos of the event might help making it positively memorable.

 

1 minute ago, Belgath said:

Have have 3D printers and boxes of scrap leather so making leather armor and printed prop pieces should be fairly easy. Maybe have the kids add runes to leather armor and make foam swords and Shields.

Sounds good.

1 minute ago, Belgath said:

I really like a lot of your ideas the troll food sounds great.

Google for "Eat at Geo's".  Jane Williams described a few recipes in the digest archives.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Just now, Zit said:

Do you mean a Three Feathered Rivals Contest ? Fist = Darkness, 2 fingers = wind or lightning, hand = sky dome

Nice - but when your players are overwhelmed by the notion of playing a role with certain personal and group goals, you're way better off having them go through familiar names and moves. I had novice freeformers in my faction or under my aegis as referee in a number of games who needed coaching and encouragement, and it didn't always work out for them.

 

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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Most of the players I have played with have compared Lunar society with Greek culture and Orlanthi/Sartar with Celtic. You might type Greek/Greece cosutmes and Celtic costumes in a search engine and see what comes up. At Deviant art  https://www.deviantart.com/newest/?q=glorantha&offset=0  Type in Glorantha in the search and it will give you examples of what people view as societies in Glorantha. Although most of those remind me more of Babylonian/Hittite societies. Could also type in Hoplite or Celt, etc. Also since you are inquiring for you kids costumes please check out before what you want them to see on Deviant Art. Some of them have mature content.

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3 hours ago, Belgath said:

I would say 8 to 12 kids, 10 to 12 years old.

Gloranthan cultism I would probably keep lite Khan of Khans lvl maybe a bit deeper keep it fun and light.

My daughter wants to role play in the world larp style, I just want make sure everything is kept fun and light enough that the other kids enjoy it and she doesn't get teased about it later on. 

Have have 3D printers and boxes of scrap leather so making leather armor and printed prop pieces should be fairly easy. Maybe have the kids add runes to leather armor and make foam swords and Shields.

I really like a lot of your ideas the troll food sounds great.

We did something like this for my daughter's... 8th? I think? Birthday.  Sort of a faerie-tale / quest.  My wife acted the "wisewoman" / "faerie-godmother" (aka tour-guide) ushering the kids along from station to station and narrating.  The downstairs bathroom was converted to an undersea grotto; a bedroom with dark cloth over the windows became a dragon's lair (starring yours truly, with a couple of pounds of chocolate coins and dozens of pieces of costume jewelry, all spread across the bed as "hoard"), etc.

Looks (from your profile) like you have a RQ gaming-group... might you be able to pull in one or more of them on assistant-GM duties, or to run "Clan Chief" or "Lawspeaker" or "Ancestor Spirit" NPCs?

I might get someone to run a game of KoK as an intro; maybe a 2nd round to pick up late arrivals & repeat/enthusiasts?

Look into an Amtgard group near you; these are boffer / fun-fighters; they aren't as much into SCA-style "recreation" or "accuracy" or such.  They sometimes run demo events at local 'cons and you might be able to get them to run something for you.  I have no idea whether they charge for demo's.

Also research local LARP groups; I'm sure there's lots of Vamp/WoD folks there in GA, but some might know enough Glorantha to do a crossover.

Last but not least:  connect with any FLGS that handles RQ/HQ (or had a successful RQ-demo on FreeRPGDay).  Explain what you're after, and leave contact-info.  No telling what might turn up...

For costumes, look for close-outs after halloween!  Expect to need to piece-together some, and embellish shome.  Remember size differences, too -- what a college-girl wears as a "sexy" outfit may become rather demure, on a pre-teen.  But don't count on that:  some 12-year-old girls have ALL their height, and tower over some 20-year-olds...

 

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On 9/13/2017 at 3:34 PM, Scott A said:

At gencon 2015, someone put on a "Glorantha Kid's Freeform," where the kids were charged with defending Whitewall from lunar invasion. I forget who ran it, but someone here or at Chaosium should know, and might put you in touch.

This was my team. I'm happy to give you any files from the Defense of Whitewall LARP for kids, but I've run some birthday parties like this before and have some other ideas for you.

1) When you invite your whole class you get kids with very different levels of interest in role playing, so the activities must be familiar and just have gloranthan flavor. The kids that are interested will do all the gaming internally and the ones that aren't can still enjoy the game.

2) It needs to be pretty simple or you're taking care of 20 kids all day, some of whom aren't very in to it. The rules need to be very straightforward. If I tag your arm with my sword you can't use it till you see a healer instead of numbers of points and different damage on different weapons.

I did a party similar to what you're talking about last year. What I came up with was that the kids were divided into teams and sent on a scavenger hunt. We did it outside so there was digging involved. So you set it up as a hero quest that the clan is going on to find magic and weapons to help them against a feuding clan. Keep it pretty simple but here's where you can put in the flavor in the way you create the clues and frame the contest. Mainly they're just looking for visible patterns that you've depicted on rune sheets or solving riddles (be careful with the riddles and teens. It's hard to challenge them and then you cross a line suddenly into unsolvable) but you can assign perks for flavor like -- the kids on their fourth clue find themselves at a station with a kolating and snacks, the kolating asks them which one among them is most insightful in solving clues and when they decide, that person is declared Lhankor or some other knowing or observing hero. You can also have them choose who is the best at keeping the group on task and together and give them an appropriate title and then they can have a special power that makes them better at helping the group. The one that keeps them together may get a pouch of drinks or snacks to distribute as needed or the ability to heal injured clansmen by feeding them. The one that's good at solving riddles could have a divining stick that will give them a clue if they break a piece off and give it to the Kolating. The bigger the piece, the bigger the clue. 

Then the last few stations of the quest are harder clues that involve more teamwork and creative thinking but hopefully the teams feel more coordinated and led now. At the last station we had boxes underground that each had a few padded swords, a few nerf blowguns, and a few cans of silly string (enough for each kid to have one), and a flag. The next section of the party was a big game of capture the flag with swords, darts, and magic, group tactics, etc. They really don't need much direction on this bit, just make the swords safe to get whacked by and limit the area and ways they can hide the flag. It helps if they had a clan starting area and need to keep it on the tula. We let them play two rounds and saw that while a few kids would keep going all day, others were worn out so then cake and food. At that point, having food that by ingredients or decoration matches the game really stands out to the kids even if they didn't know anything about it before.

After that just let them play or send them home. You can have Khan of Khans inside for the tired kids and more rounds of capture the flag or just running around for active ones. The critical balance with kids is to give them just enough to fire up their imagination and then let them loose with it. Their best experiences are internal.

If, as a side note, you want the kids to want to become gloranthophiles later, answer all their questions about rules or anything else with vague stories that suggest epic history that surrounds their actions and location. For instance "Where is the line for where we can place our flag?" "That Magnolia tree is where your great, great grandmother Yarna StoneVoice challenged the NightDemon, ManyDeaths, slayer of men and wrestled it to the ground breaking off one of its terrible legs, binding it with the Stone Oath that our people would be safe inside the boundary of the tree and the jagged rock which is all that remains of the demon's leg." It's more work, but they get very into it. You'll cherish moments like the 7 year old girl who modified her battle axe to better hold her scrunchies turning to someone on her team that had incurred a penalty by breaking a basic safety rule and saying "Ian, our ancestors will never forgive you for bringing shame on our clan this way. Shame."

1) Games with rules they already know so all you have to do is add flavor

2) Keep it simple and just frame the activity. Try to let the kids imagine and play on their own most of the time

3) Simple rules and bonuses, complicated and enigmatic explanations for the rules. 

Hope this is helpful. Feel free to contact me if you want designs or graphics or any advice.

Tanner

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I was thinking of printing  out A bunch of coins on the 3D printer. Giving them out to the kids as prizes for the different games, scavenger hunts. Which they can then use to buy, foam swords armor,  etc. For the scavenger hunt have them find pieces to a large RunicKey that they can put together Open something haven't decided yet. Added some pictures  I drew up of the key and coins below that I would make. 

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I really do appreciate all the help and suggestions it has been vary helpful. And I'm sure will continue to be so i've gone from being a bit nervous about pulling this off to pretty excited. And as long as it's OK with the the peps at  Chaosium any of you that helped out i'll be more than happy to 3D  print out a coin or small prop you or I designed all you would I have to do send me a sketch of what you wanted. It Can't be anything that is  copyrighted I.e. the coins in the books. 

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On 9/13/2017 at 4:07 PM, Joerg said:

The trick with freeforms is to keep every player engaged and inside the game. If your players are mostly new to this kind of gaming, that's quite a big bid, so maybe the event could be more of a fair, with numerous short games or encounters sort of in-character. This could combine the old scavenger hunt with some life action and roleplaying challenges, with rewards and other, inclusive activities in between. Things like crossing an (imaginary, wool-blanket) chasm or river on two ropes (or a rope and a slackline) or similar physical activity might be included. Requiring rhymes for semi-silly poetry about the event could be another, creative challenge to the players. Audience participation in the challenges would be great. (And for a birthday party, small rewards...)

 

On 9/15/2017 at 9:39 AM, Sensei Tanner said:

I did a party similar to what you're talking about last year. What I came up with was that the kids were divided into teams and sent on a scavenger hunt. We did it outside so there was digging involved. So you set it up as a hero quest that the clan is going on to find magic and weapons to help them against a feuding clan. Keep it pretty simple but here's where you can put in the flavor in the way you create the clues and frame the contest. Mainly they're just looking for visible patterns that you've depicted on rune sheets or solving riddles (be careful with the riddles and teens. It's hard to challenge them and then you cross a line suddenly into unsolvable) but you can assign perks for flavor like -- the kids on their fourth clue find themselves at a station with a kolating and snacks, the kolating asks them which one among them is most insightful in solving clues and when they decide, that person is declared Lhankor or some other knowing or observing hero. You can also have them choose who is the best at keeping the group on task and together and give them an appropriate title and then they can have a special power that makes them better at helping the group. The one that keeps them together may get a pouch of drinks or snacks to distribute as needed or the ability to heal injured clansmen by feeding them. The one that's good at solving riddles could have a divining stick that will give them a clue if they break a piece off and give it to the Kolating. The bigger the piece, the bigger the clue. 

Then the last few stations of the quest are harder clues that involve more teamwork and creative thinking but hopefully the teams feel more coordinated and led now. At the last station we had boxes underground that each had a few padded swords, a few nerf blowguns, and a few cans of silly string (enough for each kid to have one), and a flag. The next section of the party was a big game of capture the flag with swords, darts, and magic, group tactics, etc. They really don't need much direction on this bit, just make the swords safe to get whacked by and limit the area and ways they can hide the flag. It helps if they had a clan starting area and need to keep it on the tula. We let them play two rounds and saw that while a few kids would keep going all day, others were worn out so then cake and food. At that point, having food that by ingredients or decoration matches the game really stands out to the kids even if they didn't know anything about it before.

 So in implementing the forementioned ideas I was thinking A teem  based scavenger hunt Would start with Dwarfen letter Describing  how to find the parts and assemble the key to the world machine vault.  Each part or clue for the key will be some fun activity,  requiring multiple specialized skills to accomplish. So each of the kids would have a  simplified Hero Quest like PC sheet describing your 4 or 5 special abilities. The activity set up so that each of  kids abliitys  become required at some point. I already have a zip line, Rope bridge, rope swing and three Fort on my property so I think will utilize those.  Given each a neat Glorathan description or situation. Would probably set up balance beam. A Nerf crossbow station where some of the kids are undead  with paper cups balanced on their heads. (if the cup Falls off or is shot off you lose) Moving towards the crossbow group all they have to do is touch the kids with the crossbow to win. The kids are the crossbows Are not allowed to move but win By shooting The cups off The undead heads. Once one of teams wins they switch sides.

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2 minutes ago, Belgath said:

 So in implementing the forementioned ideas I was thinking A teem  based scavenger hunt Would start with Dwarfen letter Describing  how to find the parts and assemble the key to the world machine vault.  Each part or clue for the key will be some fun activity,  requiring multiple specialized skills to accomplish. So each of the kids would have a  simplified Hero Quest like PC sheet describing your 4 or 5 special abilities.

Sounds good. In case of doubt, offer magical tokens for these abilities, and make them (or rather their "bases") fit together like a jigsaw puzzle to get the final clue, and add an item/ability card. That way, you can re-distribute these in cases of non-attendance or drop-outs without having to re-write the character sheets. Laminated sheets on a key ring will do for holding the character "sheet" together. (Speaking from personal experience here - in Griffin Mountain or Bust my giant character was supposed to have a rune item, but had not received that item card, causing some confusion on my part and other players when I repeatedly was accosted of having said item. It wasn't part of my character sheet's goals list, either.)

2 minutes ago, Belgath said:

The activity set up so that each of  kids abliitys  become required at some point. I already have a zip line, Rope bridge, rope swing and three Fort on my property so I think will utilize those.  Given each a neat Glorathan description or situation. Would probably set up balance beam.

You could have them fight giants (adult NPCs) wielding tree trunks (those 6 foot foam swimming aids) with soft swords, thrown soft balls etc. too.

I wonder whether a station with balloons and mandatory prickly "armor" or slippers on the feet could be realized as a test for sneaking. (Rather than a hardly elevated balance bar with swinging sacks, which might frighten some participants.)

2 minutes ago, Belgath said:

A Nerf crossbow station where some of the kids are undead  with paper cups balanced on their heads. (if the cup Falls off or is shot off you lose) Moving towards the crossbow group all they have to do is touch the kids with the crossbow to win. The kids are the crossbows Are not allowed to move but win By shooting The cups off The undead heads. Once one of teams wins they switch sides.

Provide safety goggles - ideally with gruesome to look at full face masks and some cloth protection for the upper body attached - for the undead group, too. And hope for a calm day, or make this an indoor (or tent) event.

We stopped using battle magic spells (sheets of paper with the spell name and effect on them) that would be crumbled up and tossed at opposing trolls in life action trollball. We had games where the wind was too strong to hit except when directly delivered.

Telling how it is excessive verbis

 

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