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wlewisiii

How to teach Glorantha?

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1 minute ago, David Scott said:

Was in an old White Dwarf...

That makes it a bit more difficult. OTOH, there's a good image of Gimpy's in the Prince of Sartar Webcomic and with a memory or three of "iffy" nights when I was in the Army in Germany (Hint: The bar's nickname was Stab&Grab), I can probably come up with something comparable. 

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5 minutes ago, David Scott said:

 

12 minutes ago, wlewisiii said:

I'll look for that Rumble

Was in an old White Dwarf...

Also in the "Best of White Dwarf III" reprint which also featured the five issues series about the City of Irilian, as a removable centerfold (which is how I got my grubby paws on it).

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Wlewisiii:

Why is it necessary to give the boy a comprehensive understanding of the world of Glorantha before he plays? My recommendation would be to teach him and his friends as they adventure in this magical and mysterious realm. Have the players start as newbs in Lunar occupied Sartar c. 1613 and let them run afoul of the Lunars in post-rebellion Sartar, after a few adventures. Then, fleeing for their lives they escape to the Pol Joni Marches and Pimber's Block to sign on as caravan guards with Biturian  Varosh. Thus they play and experience his travels first hand so that they can learn along with him as they go. Sprinkle your own adventures into the Biturian cycle and you're good to go.

Once they have been seasoned, toughened up and improved in some key skills, then have them arrive at Pavis for some post conquest shenanigans in the City of Thieves and the Big Rubble. Let them make, and likely lose, a fortune or two at the hands of Sor Eel, Bor Eel, The Rat, Wolfshead or Griselda and then have them beat it out of town for self-preservation so you can have them trek about the Zola Fel Valley. Eventually have them enter service with Duke Raus and they can do the Borderlands, River of Cradles and/or the Shadows on the Borderlands adventures.

Then they can jump off to Balazar after travelling to Gonn Orta's Pass and enjoy the Griffin Mountain adventures and more. I would recommend Jon Hunter's "Back to Balazar" webpage resources for inspiration in order to spice up the Griffin Mountain campaign with great personalities and scenario ideas. If they eventually get access to the Windsword, then have them drawn to Talastar and the Riskland Campaign, where they fight chaos horrors in and around Dorastor. Here they can also begin to learn about Gloranthan cosmology, mythical cycles and begin to experiment with serious  heroquestng for high stakes. From there the world's their oyster until they poop out or meet Harrek and his company in Esrolia. The sky is the limit.

Whatever you choose to do and whatever path you elect to follow, I hope you and your boy have a great time gaming and experiencing the marvel that is Glorantha. And if Genertela is not enough, then take him to Pamaltela for some more high adventure!

Cheers.

Evilroddy.

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When I run games for Gloranthan newbies, I give a very short overview: Glorantha is a Bronze Age setting of tribe and clan, priest-kings and heroes. It is polytheistic, in that there are many gods and all are real - you are initiated into the secrets of one of these gods and are a member of its cult. Your main gods are Ernalda the Earth Mother and Orlanth the Storm King, but there is also a god of war and death, a god of scribes, a goddess of healing, a god of trade and communication, a goddess of earthquakes, a goddess of vengeance, etc. etc. The Runes are key to understanding the magic and mythology of the gods - each rune is symbol for an important concept or archetype inherent in the cosmos - Air, Earth, Beasts, Mortals, Truth, Harmony, Death, etc. You as a character have Runes that are strong with you. Your loyalties are to your family, your kin, your tribe, your cult, and maybe to a king, warlord, or emperor. 

You are playing characters from a confederation of tribes called the Kingdom of Sartar. For the last twenty-three years it has been occupied by the Lunar Empire, who worship demons of Chaos and have tried to humble your gods, but earlier this year a dragon rose underneath their grand temple and devoured most of the Lunars in Sartar. Your community is now free, but everyone knows the Lunars will try to return. Despite that, conflicts, grudges, and old feuds with other tribes seems far more real than the inevitable return of the Lunar Army.

And then jump into character generation, where they learn more ("what god can I worship? etc."). Players get the tropes quickly, they can learn more as the game progresses. 

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Why? Has a lot to do with his personality. He wants to know why things are the way they are so you have to learn at least a little of the basic mythology to get the idea that it's a sort of bronze age where the bones of the gods can be mined directly from the earth rather than mined as copper and tin and alloyed together. Iron is an insanely rare something else entirely. It helps him to understand that even more than DND this is not just our world with spells tacked on top. Physics doesn't necessarily work as expected because there is magic at every level of this world from a bladesharp +1 that nearly every warrior can learn to being on the Light Bringer's Quest to other Hero Quests way beyond that. 

So he now has my old RQ2 book, a copy of the new Quick Start & the Sartar Primer I was pointed at upthread. That should be more than enough for that. 

I'm going to use Apple Lane to start though rather than inflict Gringles as such I think they'll be woken by the hue & cry when the battle comes down and let him join as appropriate for a villager and then later have him follow up in the rainbow mounds. 

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I've had some success by including a myth in each session. At some point in each scenario, work in something related to a different myth. Maybe tell him one of the big stories, like the First Sword or Orlanth's conflict with Yelm. Then in the next scenario, have him participate in a ritual that includes some mythic details. Then throw in an NPC who has a conflict with some other cult. A big part of what distinguishes Glorantha from other worlds is its rich mythology, so drop it in bit by bit. But the trick is to not do it all at once--that will get overwhelming and preachy. 

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Ah, i look back fondly on the time it was all about fighting folk and stealing their stuff. Simple times.

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2 hours ago, Iskallor said:

Ah, i look back fondly on the time it was all about fighting folk and stealing their stuff. Simple times.

It usually just gets back to this :D

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On 10/17/2017 at 11:27 PM, wlewisiii said:

I'm going to use Apple Lane to start though rather than inflict Gringles as such I think they'll be woken by the hue & cry when the battle comes down and let him join as appropriate for a villager and then later have him follow up in the rainbow mounds. 

That's a good traditional starting point, and the one I usually favour. Like any setting, starting small and widening the world as you go is often the best path. It save early info-overload, and makes life easier as a GM in terms of pacing things. Apple Lane remains great for this approach.

I have been using a BRP hybrid home-rules mix for Glorantha. The mechanics have primarily been from the BGB,  with lots of stuff imported from RQ2, RQ3, and RQ6. However once RQG comes out I will probably just streamline it down to the new rules for the sake of clarity. We'll see.

If I have time, I like the idea of characters starting off with that inexperienced dirtcrawler flavour and becoming more heroic with each adventure. I usually set the initial game date 1615 - 1620. During the Lunar Occupation of Sartar, in the lead up to the RQ3 date of 1621. That way I have a timeline of events for the background canvas, it feels a bit more authentic (although I eventually move the PCs away so that they can sandbox a fair bit).

I would only show them a map of Sartar to begin with ( the RQ2 map is great), then focus just on the regional Apple Lane & surrounds map.

I would kick things off with mostly Sartarite characters from different walks of life, clans, etc and start in Apple Lane. Usually at least one character is a local, a farmboy or something like that. The others may be labourers or other Sartarite wayfarers, but if there is a good explanation to have a foreigner that is also okay. If I start small, then the characters feel very different if I play up the differences in clan values as well as professions, so having all Sartarites doesn't mean they are all clones, usually far from it.

I would spitball my way through the session, introducing the comings and goings of Apple Lane, maybe with a local minimal issue or two. Typically this is a good time for the characters just to have alot of narrative fun, try out non-combat skills, etc. I eventually wind things into Gringle coming into The Tin Inn in a worried state, thus kicking off The Gringle's Pawnshop scenario, which is usually one or two sessions play. This is followed by another two sessions with The Rainbow Mounds scenario.  

Then I would introduce some Lunar harassment to get them into strife, and get them heading out of Apple Lane. These days I portray the Lunars as Assyrian-Persian style characters (Achaemenid era),  although I still use some Roman Legionnaire trappings for the Lunar Guards (but that's much less than it used to be). I tend to make this strife quite an issue, like cheesing off a major Lunar dignity, someone prominent enough to encourage the PCs that they need to leave Sartar entirely and lay low elsewhere for a while. I make this a big deal, with the PCs world starting to widen now, as many are unfamiliar with regions outside of Sartar. 

I tend to railroad it a bit here, and get them employed as hirelings in an Issaries caravan heading east, as it's a good cover for them, and it means they are not heading into a wilderness by themselves. Along the way I would re-trap a few old D&D modules, but always keep a sense of urgency that they have to be shy of the Sartar region to be fully comfortable that they won't be discovered by Lunar guards.

Once at the edge of Sartar I choose to either head the caravan further east en route to New Pavis & Prax, or north up to Balazar & The Elder Wilds. There are Lunars in both regions, but they aren't privy to what has happened in Sartar, and the PCs are not 'on the radar' here.

Once in either location there are heaps of adventures to be had (RQ2 Griffin Mountain sandbox, or RQ2 Pavis, RQ2 Big Rubble, RQ2 Borderlands, RQ3 River of Cradles, RQ3 Sun Country, RQ3 Shadows On the Borderlands etc).

My plan is that by the time the characters return to Sartar (if they choose so) they should be pretty skilled and can participate in Agrarth's campaign to light the Flame of Sartar and The Dragonrise. 

So I guess I still like that old 'zero-to-hero' flavour. Although I have never played that long so they never get there.

(I have also started characters down in Wenelia working for The Trader Princes, with all the PCs being Westerners. The portrayal of this region and it's cultures is quite different now, so I wouldn't advise doing this until there is more contemporary published material on the Malkioni). 

These days when running Orlanthi, I tend to use Thracians as a cultural analogy (rather than the Celtic/Saxon flavour from late RQ3 onward). The Orlanthi portrayed in the G2G and The Coming Storm definitely are more 'Thracian' or 'Dacian' in concept than 'Saxon' or 'Celtic'. Orlanthi are their own unique people, but the Thracian vibe is pretty big. Plus if I use Griffin Mountain, the Orlanthi of Balazar are more consistent with this flavour anyway. The citadels are definitely Mycenaean influenced, so this is a good example of Orlanthi culture as well. 

If I don't have many players for a troupe, then I always introduce some NPCs to journey with the player-characters. They are a great way to info-dump setting specific stuff thru the course of their general banter with the PCs. It's also a good way to portray how Gloranthans think, basing much of their actions on mythic reasons and such. 

Not sure what I will do with the RQG timeline being a decade later. Jeff had some pretty good ideas above for introducing things after the Dragonrise...

Edited by Mankcam
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On 10/15/2017 at 9:52 AM, pachristian said:

Want to teach Glorantha?

Then start by NOT ramming it down the player's throats. Nobody cares about those awesome NPC's who did things you can't do over there. Nobody cares about the detailed cosmology. Nobody cares about giant volumes of mythology, history, and geography.

What they care about it having a good time; getting to roll dice, role-play their characters, and feel heroic.

This is what you need to say:

  1. This is Glorantha (show map from back of classic RQ book). It's a little different from D&D in a couple of ways. It's an ancient world, not medieval, so no knights in shining armor, and no kings in castles. The main metal is bronze, Iron is a semi-magical metal that does cool stuff, and you might be able to find some, someday.
  2. In Glorantha, everyone can learn magic. There's minor magic that everyone learns, and powerful magic that only some people learn. We don't have wizards here (that's another story) but your character can follow a god, and get magic from his god. Gods are active, and your profession and religion are pretty much the same thing - smiths follow a smith god, healers follow the healing goddess and so on. The default gods for my game are Pavis, god of the city you're in who's kind of neutral, Orlanth who is a storm and war god and is against the lunar empire. I've got a list of other gods, but mostly you'll learn about them as we play.
  3. The city of Pavis is a frontier city, in the wastelands. The old city of Pavis, now called the Big Rubble, is a massive ruin from era of the dragon empire. Adventurers plunder it for treasure. The Lunar Empire recently conquered this land. This made a lot of people very mad, as many of them were refugees from Sartar, which was conquered a few years ago and they came here for a fresh start and to get away from Lunar taxes. Lunars worship the moon goddess, Sartarites worship Orlanth. 
  4. Our adventure begins with (give them the basic introduction).

Stop there. 

Let them learn about Glorantha as they play. Introduce one unique or notable aspect of Glorantha every session. Try to hold it to one. Never lecture about Glorantha for more than 5 minutes at once, and not more than once or twice per game. Don't ask them to read anything unless they ask for details. If the players want more, they'll ask for it.

Obviously, this introduction is for a Pavis-based game. You can do something similar for any other place. 

Thank you so much for this summary! I will be running a Pavis adventure at a local con in January, and this is just the kind of primer I need to help keep me from talking too much.

One other thing I am doing for this Pavis-based adventure: I am giving out pregenerated characters who are not from Pavis, so it's reasonable for the players and characters to learn as they go.

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Just play RQ:G with newbies and the cosmology will slowly seep in: runes, passions, cults... they are on the character sheet and they give advantages whilst adventuring so the player will want to know more about them. I've noticed that newbies especially like the runes.

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3 minutes ago, GianniVacca said:

Just play RQ:G with newbies and the cosmology will slowly seep in: runes, passions, cults... they are on the character sheet and they give advantages whilst adventuring so the player will want to know more about them. I've noticed that newbies especially like the runes.

Back in prehistoric times, when I was a newb, I certainly did. :)

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