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Casualty rate in Gloranthan battles?

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2 hours ago, Joerg said:

I relied on the Wikia entry which says "presumably in Tarsh".

"Presumably" is a qualification (made before the Coming Storm came out) and in any case, it's a huge step to go from that to Moirades personally supervised it!  There's nothing wrong with personal theories but you should be aware what the source material actually says before presenting the theory as the only possible interpretation.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

I just spent two hours trying to hunt down the connection between Moirades and the "stray moonbeam" which (together with a hungry or enraged dinosaur) spelled the end for Terasarin, so far without success.

What on earth is Terasarin's death have to do with the topic at hand?  Two hours?  Am I supposed to feel sorry?

 

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Furthest is a still growing Large City, on the upper end, and about as big as Nochet was when Sarotar died.

Nochet and Sarotar's death is, like Terasarin's death, is a complete irrelevance.  Furthest is a large city, not a metropolis and you have not presented any evidence to show that it is "growing".  A citation would be extremely helpful at this point.

 

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

You will most probably disdain any mention of the Imperial Lunar Handbook, but p.55 does have this information. And as far as I am concerned, there is no need or reason for newer information contradicting this paragraph.

"This information" being your claim that Tarsh under Moirades was wealthy enough to support a new University, buy off the Feathered Horse Queen and turn Furthest into a nascent metropolis.  I took the trouble of looking it up and the supporting evidence is not there.  All that is there is Tarsh's wealth comes from grain and maize which nobody is disputing.

 

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

The sources speak of Heartland immigrants.

What source?  If it is King of Sartar, the source you were telling me to ignore not so long ago then no mention of Heartland immigrants is made.  All that is said is that the immigrants are "impoverished scholars and merchants seeking a better life" KoS p106.  The only heartlanders explicitly mentioned there are the applicants to the Unversity of the Provinces

 

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Your conjecture above (and that is all it is) probably can have contributed to the rapid growth of Tarsh.

I freely admit making conjectures.  The problem is that you pass yours off as being something more authoritative.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

On the other hand, we know that both the Orindori and the Lunar dynasty of Tarsh possess significant holdings in Sylila which contributed to their wealth, which is hard when those holdings are routinely famished, so I take the mention of the hungry Heartland to mean the Dara Happan portion of it,

Where is the mention of the Hungry Heartlands?  It's not in King of Sartar, it's not in Griffin Mountain and it's not in the Guide. My conjecture is that the "starving peasants" KoS p106 were in the downstream provinces, which are by definition not heartlands. 

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

Also note that Tarsh continued to grow richer after the demise of Phargentes and the loss of the office of Provincial Overseer.

Because there was no massive fighting on its borders after the Battle of Grizzly Peak and seizure of Bagnot.  Nearly thirty years of peace will improve any kingdom's prosperity dramatically.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

I could look it up in the digest archives, but to what avail?

That isn't what I asked.  You threw in a suggestion that Moirades's wealth was from the plunder of Boldhome was wrong which nobody in this thread had even suggested.  It like Terasarin's death and the size of Nochet at Sarotar's death is just said by you without any meaningful relevance.  It doesn't add anything to the debate.

2 hours ago, Joerg said:

And in the light of this paragraph, I find the placement of a university founded by Moirades outside of Tarsh rather doubtful.

Take it up with Ian Cooper.

 

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I would say that everyone needs a deep breath of Wind, but Glorantha brings out the Lunatic in everyone who loves it...

But I have a Harmony rune if anyone needs to borrow it.

 

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7 hours ago, metcalph said:

"Presumably" is a qualification (made before the Coming Storm came out) and in any case, it's a huge step to go from that to Moirades personally supervised it! 

Moirades personally researched high level Lunar magic, according to the Fazzur piece in WF, which I took to be the cause for the moonbeam which served Terasarin to the dinosaur. That takes master class scrying if that was a planned attack. I assumed that if you are a research magician who founds a university you want to lean on that institution for support in your research.

 

But then it is astonishingly hard to find solid facts on Moirades. Sartar Kingdom of Heroes for instance has Moirades personally asking Fazzur to step in with the Starbrow Rebellion in 1613, contradicting the info that Moirades remained dead after 1610. (Glorantha being a magical world, I won't doubt that Moirades experienced more than the Little Death when siring Phargentes on Jar-eel, ascending to the Red Moon. The question is whether he stayed there for good, or whether he was available for occasional appearances in Tarsh e.g. dealing with Starbrow's rebellion in 1613 or at the Fall of Furthest. Aronius Jaranthir managed to do so, too.

That 1610 death date for Moirades discredits a lot of the information in King of Sartar - even the new Fazzur fragment that was added to CHDP in the hardcover edition. But the data on his involvement with the university is in the only portion of CHDP which agrees with the 1610 death date, right next to the information on starving folk in the Heartlands.

I notice that you haven't deigned to comment on the ILH1 text. Is that beneath your canonicity rating?

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There's nothing wrong with personal theories but you should be aware what the source material actually says before presenting the theory as the only possible interpretation.

 

The theory isn't exactly new, and neither is the source material I have based it on. But apart from the Mirin's Cross university datum in The Coming Storm, I haven't seen any counter-proof so far, only lack of evidence in other publications.

I don't doubt that Mirin's Cross will have an educational institution catering to Provincial Lunars. I only doubt that Moirades was involved with it.

 

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What on earth is Terasarin's death have to do with the topic at hand? 

It is a feat of Lunar magic that is reasonably traced to Moirades.

But then, the topic at hand was the grain support of the Lunar Army, where I brought up the grain support of the Heartlands emitted from Tarsh. I was told that there was no need for it, and I reacted to that by bringing up the wealth Tarsh made from it, and the numerous ways Tarsh invested that wealth. This university disagreement about Moirades' involvement is a distraction from that topic.

 

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Two hours?  Am I supposed to feel sorry?

Nope. Just a reminder that I do read sources, contrary to your allegations.

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Nochet and Sarotar's death is, like Terasarin's death, is a complete irrelevance.  Furthest is a large city, not a metropolis and you have not presented any evidence to show that it is "growing".  A citation would be extremely helpful at this point.

ILH 1 p.55. Scholars and artisans flocking to the Kingdom of Tarsh. Also the Tarsh section of CHDP. Where would they go but to the capital? And wouldn't scholars be attracted by an institute of higher learning, whether you call it university or great library?

Apparently not that helpful.

 

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"This information" being your claim that Tarsh under Moirades was wealthy enough to support a new University, buy off the Feathered Horse Queen and turn Furthest into a nascent metropolis.  I took the trouble of looking it up and the supporting evidence is not there. 

Mirin's Cross: Population 25k. A metropolis.

Furthest: Population 20k. A large city.

The difference between Furthest and Boldhome (which has 11k) is way larger than the difference between Furthest and Mirin's Cross. I see some justification to my (irrelevant to the main topic) statement that outrages you. For how long has Mirin's Cross been a metropolis, anyway?

 

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All that is there is Tarsh's wealth comes from grain and maize which nobody is disputing.

Do read the discussion, please. The dispute is whether the wealth comes from the Tarsh grain exports, and that in turn from whether the Heartlands are depending on the steady flow of grain barges down the Oslir. Which I point out that they must be, or there wouldn't be any shipping away from the troops in Sartar and the Holy Country that rely on grain deliveries.

All the rest is me getting distracted to show the volume this trade must have by pointing out all the expensive projects financed by the Tarshite court, and you taking offense at my conclusions.

 

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What source?  If it is King of Sartar, the source you were telling me to ignore not so long ago then no mention of Heartland immigrants is made.  All that is said is that the immigrants are "impoverished scholars and merchants seeking a better life" KoS p106.  The only heartlanders explicitly mentioned there are the applicants to the Unversity of the Provinces

Ok. Let's start with the Guide, p.175.

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The city of Furthest is the center of Tarsh culture, built over the previous settlement as a Lunar colony in Dragon Pass. It is the home of the king and his family, as well as a major Seven Mothers temple. Its residents, and the farmers who thickly populate the river valley, are thoroughly Lunarized in attitudes.

I read "as a Lunar colony" like the way Massilia or Colonia Agrippina were colonies, settlements where people from the mother culture emigrated. It is possible that the majority of Heartlanders who followed Phargentes into the outskirts of Dragon Pass were from Sylila, where he and his brother's followers (and the Orindori family) had spent their exile during the reign of Palashee. (Philigos spent most of his reign in exile as a sycophant and petitioner in Glamour.)

Information on Palashee's Furthest mostly comes from the Exile POV in the CHDP. That text states that Palashee made Furthest his capital, after the Lunar account of the Tarsh CHDP claiming that Palashee destroyed the place. The Guide suggests that Phargentes razed whatever structures were inhabited under Palashee when he established his colony. Possibly excepting earth temples.

 

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I freely admit making conjectures.  The problem is that you pass yours off as being something more authoritative.

Of course my conjectures are more authoritative than yours - said with a tongue in cheek.

Your accusation that I don't read the sources is what riled me up.

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Where is the mention of the Hungry Heartlands?  It's not in King of Sartar, it's not in Griffin Mountain and it's not in the Guide.

Tarsh has been delivering the corn since Phargentes got his kingdom back to working order, so there is no hunger. We don't read about grain exports other than in tribute/taxes from any other place in the Empire, with the possible exception of Oraya. The other provinces deliver their tribute to the Empire, Tarsh delivers more, and makes big money from it. ILH p.55, and that comment didn't come out of nowhere.

What was your source for Phargentes exploiting the other Provinces to the benefit of Tarsh? Other than the statement in Glorantha - Introduction to the Hero Wars, I cannot find any. I don't contest that conjecture, but it stands as an authoritative statement.

 

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My conjecture is that the "starving peasants" KoS p106 were in the downstream provinces, which are by definition not heartlands. 

Apart from the northeastern corner of Aggar, there is only Holay on the Oslir downstream of Tarsh before the Heartlands begin. Southern Holay and northern Tarsh should have the same success or failure of harvests unless the Tarshite Hon-eel cult knows things that the Holay cult doesn't. And what happens north of Mirin's Cross happens in Sylila as well, as far as weather, climate and fertility magics go. All within the Glowline, too.

I agreed with Martin Helsdon that starving peasants wouldn't be a normal state, whether in the Heartlands or the Provinces, unless someone in the Empire duplicated the failure of the French kingdom that led to the revolution. Starving urban mobs however are a distinct possibility. No idea how much the Lunar demagogues that were described when we still had people working on Imperial Heartland material are deprecated now, but I found the notion of a religiously roused but otherwise unproductive rabble fed on imported maize convincing. (p. 14 ILH2, for instance, although I would replace the soapbox with something more period-appropriate. The use of soap in the Heartlands still is somewhat contested, anyway...)

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Because there was no massive fighting on its borders after the Battle of Grizzly Peak and seizure of Bagnot. 

Terasarin pushed the borders from the Creek to the Dragonspine, and his reign saw major campaigns. Hardly a period of peace for Tarsh as a whole, although the Oslir Valley saw little of that conflict. Other troubles like the Tusk Riders were there, too.

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Nearly thirty years of peace will improve any kingdom's prosperity dramatically.

Which is why Aggar and Holay aren't wealthier than Tarsh after nearly two wanes of peace?

Much like Sartar imported culture and craftsmanship from Kethaela, Phargentes and Moirades imported from the Empire. Maybe including Mirin's Cross, maybe mainly from the Heartlands.

 

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That isn't what I asked.  You threw in a suggestion that Moirades's wealth was from the plunder of Boldhome was wrong which nobody in this thread had even suggested. 

It has been suggested before. If you don't disagree with the plunder of Boldhome not being part of the secret of the wealth of Moirades, ignore the statement. Like you ignored the ILH1 reference.

 

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It like Terasarin's death and the size of Nochet at Sarotar's death is just said by you without any meaningful relevance.  It doesn't add anything to the debate.

Apparently it added your displeasure. Not the result I wanted, but the one I got.

Terasarin's death is the magical achievement of Moirades, a triumph of Lunar magic made in Tarsh, when you compare the Fazzur background in Wyrm's Footnotes with the circumstances of Terasarin's death. So this isn't relevant?

Nochet outgrew its status as a large city to a metropolis in a time frame comparable to the combined reigns of Phargentes and Moirades. Given that Phargentes effectively re-founded the place after his victory over Palashee, erasing whatever the previous settlement had, Furthest had a spurt of growth that hasn't quite reached metropolis size by the onset of the Hero Wars. It is possible that Moirades departure in 1610 stopped that growth, but metrololis size is just around the corner.

I shouldn't have to spell this out, but need to do so anyway in the interest of quelling your outrage.

 

On the matter of universities, I see a distinct possibility for Furthest having a University of the Provinces and Mirin's Cross having a Provincial University.  Lhankor Mhy Great Libraries (functionally the same if not in name) are spaced with less distance than that, and places with strong local governments tend to have lots of universities. like the Holy Roman Empire and its successor states in Germany. And for universities claiming similar names, the US institution of their Cambridge is better known as Harvard, I suppose to avoid being mixed up with the more venerable place of learning on the Cam.

 

 

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13 hours ago, Joerg said:

Tarsh was rich and expanding already before the conquest of Sartar, which would have seriously weakened the access to slaves from Prax or the southern Orlanthi, except through trade through Sartar.

Tarsh was rich, but weakened by Moirades and his extravagant spending. Moirades is now long dead.

13 hours ago, Joerg said:

and only a side mention for one in Mirin's Cross. If you were Moirades, King of Tarsh, and regretfully not heir to his father's office of Provincial Overseer, where would you put your money to found a university? One where you have the say who gets privileged access? In your new model Lunar royal city, or in a seat of an administration that undermines your dynastic claims? Just asking.

Regrettably, you are relying upon an in-world document for your supposition. There's zero evidence of the university you believe in which  you claim was 'a college of magic able to compete with the Imperial College on the research of new Lunar magics'. Zero evidence.

13 hours ago, Joerg said:

Fazzur's middle brother cooperated with Moirades in the spell that killed Terasarin according to his article in Wyrm's Footnotes (or was it Tales,  or did Tales reprint it?). Doing so out of Furthest is already a great magical feat. Doing so out of Mirin's Cross would obviate the presence of Imperial College magicians in the Lunar army.

If you mean Wyrms Footnotes 12, it claims Wassail helped Phargentes do this. Please check your sources.

However, this does not denote a magical college in Tarsh, just an elaborate ritual in a temple.

For that matter, Terasarin died in 1600; Phargentes in 1579; Moirades in 1610. So the WF#12 entry is more than a little suspect.

13 hours ago, Joerg said:

It is possible that Moirades' battlefield magics were more akin to the personal magic of the Red Emperor (though probably not quite as powerful) rather than regimental magics of the Imperial college, but I remain to be convinced that Furthest was not the source of this magic research and execution.

Your opinion isn't binding, especially when it is based on an erroneous assumption.

13 hours ago, Joerg said:

I agree that Mirin's Cross is the center for the other Provincial kingdoms (Aggar, Holay, Talastar, Imther, Jarst, Garsting) and lesser territories (Elkoi, Tork), but I doubt that it has that much influence over Lunar Tarsh. None of those provincial kingdoms have direct dynastic ties to the Goddess or Moonson, only Sylila (which has become a Heartland adjunct, and keeps meddling in and through Mirin's Cross).

Huh? Tork isn't a subject kingdom but a region of the insane. Tarsh is a provincial kingdom, and subject to the Provincial Government.

13 hours ago, Joerg said:

The Guide doesn't quite agree with this. p.339:

The richest of the provincial kingdoms, Tarsh profits from its fertile valleys, wide hill lands, and position along the main north-south trade route.

If Moirades beggared his kingdom while still building up a modern Lunar city in Furthest, the rest of the Provincial kingdoms must be way worse off.

Yet the Guide also says: LUNAR PROVINCES: Five kingdoms in Upper Peloria have special status as tributary provinces. Native rulers collect taxes, pay special tribute, support temples, and coordinate their operations under the commands of a Provincial Governor. Not four - five kingdoms.

Profiting from its fertile valleys and position on a trade route, Tarsh pays more tax. And if you read the description of the other Provincial Kingdoms, you'll find that most are poorer than Tarsh.

13 hours ago, Joerg said:

Checking out the entries on Mirin's Cross, I find the connection between Urar Baar (a troll stronghold at the Dawn) and the Berennethtelli founders surprising, to say the least. Berenstead lies considerably further west.

Also, isn't Jillaro a contender for the former position of Nivorah? Mirin's Cross would correspond to Elempur in Anaxial's Heptapolis.

Irrelevant.

Why do you insist on railroading threads?

The ILH (both volumes) are no longer canonical - and frankly both are of poor quality.

12 hours ago, jajagappa said:

But only since the death of Phargentes in 1579 ST.  Remember that Phargentes was the first Lunar Provincial Overseer, so the power at that point was in Tarsh.  It's only with Appius Luxius that the Provincial Government shifts to Mirin's Cross.

In the Guide it says: About 6/28 (1545), the Provincial Government was formed to help Prince Phargentes liberate Tarsh, his brother's kingdom, from dissident rebels. In 6/38 (1555), the heir was killed, the rebel Tarsh king ousted, and the rightful dynasty continued to rule. For a while, Phargentes was both King of Tarsh and Provincial Overseer.

So Phargentes was Provincial Governor at Mirin's Cross long before he ruled Tarsh, and it is unlikely that all the government apparatus was moved to Tarsh and then moved back to Mirin's Cross.

Edited by M Helsdon

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30 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

The ILH (both volumes) are no longer canonical - and frankly both are of poor quality.

Successive 'generations' of Gloranthaphiles shitting on that which came before - usually when the recipients are no longer around to defend their piece. The longest and ignoblest tradition in Glorantha; the cycle of all things.

This is why I stick to fucking ducks.

...

OK. I may need to rephrase that.

-----

*What I find most amusing about this, is that Martin—as a relative newcomer—isn't in on the social cues that surround this merry dance the way other Gloranthaphiles are. People are very careful about criticising this material because of Mark, as he's obviously a very bright bloke, is fairly active still, and we're worried what he's picked up from his day-job... (Same situation with Mongoose and Loz and Pete.) But Wesley and Martin L.? Bah, fuck 'em, right?

Edited by Quackatoa
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39 minutes ago, Quackatoa said:

Successive 'generations' Gloranthaphiles shitting on that which came before - usually when the recipients are no longer around to defend their piece. The longest and ignoblest tradition in Glorantha; the cycle of all things.

I missed the HeroWars period (bar the boxed set, and a hardback that was going cheap in an auction at a convention) and I only picked up the Mongoose books cheaply after they lost the license, and have bought up a few of the HW books over recent years.

I obtained the ILH books and found them as off-putting as the boxed set.

So, it isn't a matter of who wrote what or when, or what is right or wrong with them, but how they mesh with (old and new) canon.

 

Edited by M Helsdon
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4 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

Successive 'generations' of Gloranthaphiles shitting on that which came before - usually when the recipients are no longer around to defend their piece. The longest and ignoblest tradition in Glorantha; the cycle of all things.

As tiresome as it is inevitible, unfortunately.

Generally, not just Chaosium/Moon Design, if a designer makes a new version of a game, or publishes something that has previously been covered, the designer must state why people should buy the new material, otherwise why not stick with the old stuff? One way to do it is to say that the new material is more complete, covers a wider area, has new stuff and so on, this is what happened with the Guide to Glorantha. Another way is to say "All the other stuff that came before, except what we wrote, is rubbish", which is what Chaosium is now doing with RuneQuest, Mongoose material is all rubbush, RQ6 has a lot of flaws, ILH is of poor quality and so on. Strange that, when those supplements came out, nobody from Issaries or Moon Design said they were rubbish at the time. 

 

This is why I stick to fucking ducks.

And very good ducks they are, too.

 

OK. I may need to rephrase that.

Please dont!

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3 hours ago, soltakss said:

One way to do it is to say that the new material is more complete, covers a wider area, has new stuff and so on, this is what happened with the Guide to Glorantha. Another way is to say "All the other stuff that came before, except what we wrote, is rubbish", which is what Chaosium is now doing with RuneQuest, Mongoose material is all rubbush, RQ6 has a lot of flaws, ILH is of poor quality and so on.

I can't (and don't) speak for Chaosium, and having no system axe to grind (last played in Glorantha in RQ3; game group long dispersed; unlikely to play any games in the future) but in the material available to me there's an obvious trend from WBRM onwards for increasing depth and improvement of presentation. Back in the day, RQ2 presented a fantasy world in such a way that it wasn't hard to pretend that many of its cultures and cults could be slotted into the real Bronze Age/Iron Age, with obvious exceptions. From the published (and until recently unpublished) material there's been a trend of extension, enhancement, and elaboration, which is typical of an ongoing creative project. The material in the Encyclopedia Glorantha, for example, is rough, obviously intended to be rewritten, and much of it has been subsequently seriously reworked. The same goes for the old army lists, after the board game, when there seem to have been various attempts towards a new tactical game. Some units have vanished, some have been altered, and so on.

The authors and writers of books, television series and cinematic series often have a 'bible' that provides details of the setting, to maintain consistency, and, in shared universes, to help new writers offer stories or scripts. Some authors create background bibles that dwarfs the final story (Tolkien and Middle Earth comes to mind - but he rewrote his background and his fiction over and over again; Robert E. Howard was ahead of his time, creating maps and a history). It's part of the creative process. You can often spot science fiction and fantasy fiction that lack this sort of background because the story and its world is literally paper thin.

With Glorantha, we have the bare bones of stories, but the cult write-ups, scenario details, and background material are the 'bible', and it is very thick - but has the benefit that you don't (and can't) know everything but can dip into it for what you want. There are distinct areas of doubt and uncertainty, and long may they remain so (knowing definite facts of events in the God Time is impossible). The 'bible' continues to get updated, and this is apparent in RQ2 and RQ3.

At that point I lost contact with the setting, missing out the old email forums, never saw the fanzines (only picked up one copy of Tales of the Reaching Moon, was (briefly) involved with a Tekumel fanzine until its sudden demise and only found out years later why it folded), picked up the Hero Wars boxed set and was unable to understand the mechanics (being entirely outside fandom expected it to be similar to RQ, until I opened the box...), and left Glorantha until the Guide kickstarter somehow came to my attention.

At that point I started looking for the Glorantha material I missed: especially Tale of the Reaching Moon (the issue I'd picked up was probably the most esoteric). I picked up most of the Mongoose books cheaply when they lost the license, and whilst there were some excellent ones (Ralios and Dara Happa Rises were good solid work), as a treatment of the more magical Second Age they were disappointing. I've read the RQ6 rulebook (or at least one version of it) and it seemed good, but I have never seen any Gloranthan material related to it.

For quite a while, I have been interested in warfare in Glorantha (having masses of books on ancient warfare).

Last year someone mentioned that the ILH had details of the Lunar Army; I obtained volume 2 - nothing useful there. Then I picked up volume 1 and found it... painfully thin. Where the presentation of military units in RQ2 and RQ3 material was obviously fairly firmly rooted in our ancient world, but with the addition of magic (a few obvious anachronisms such as dragoons and platoons, but more accessible than using an ancient term of the equivalents - or clumsily making a word up), the ILH treatment showed no understanding of ancient warfare, especially its odd concentration upon tactical squads - for which there was no equivalent in any ancient army. The closest would be the file of troops, or the war band, but they don't really fit very well. There was nothing there I could use.

Thus my comment.

Edited by M Helsdon
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7 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

*What I find most amusing about this, is that Martin—as a relative newcomer—isn't in on the social cues that surround this merry dance the way other Gloranthaphiles are. People are very careful about criticising this material because of Mark, as he's obviously a very bright bloke, is fairly active still, and we're worried what he's picked up from his day-job... (Same situation with Mongoose and Loz and Pete.) But Wesley and Martin L.? Bah, fuck 'em, right?

I'm quite happy to endorse Martin's opinion that the books aren't very good but place the blame for a number of factors that do not include the authors being crap.

1) Too many invented details.  There's nothing wrong with the authors making up details to fill in the blank spots.  Some of the invented details in the Handbooks were recycled for the Guide.  But in the Handbooks, many details are simply unpolished and in other cases, they simply devour space that could have been devoted to existing lunar cults (Henshelek instead of Irrippi Ontor).

2)  A lack of any conflict.  In the ILH-1, an extensive treatment of a Lunar Association is given along with their friends and allies.  Who are they opposed to?  We are not told. The Lunars are plotting to restore Gbaji/Nysalor, Send Valu as an agent of Zanch Mator, the White Moonies are going to rebel  - all these conflicts were known about during the writing of the Handbooks but there is little attention paid to them.  Even the chaoticness of the Lunar Empire is played down.  The effect comes of reading a description of the Kingdom of Gondor which avoids any mention of Sauron, Saruman or Umbar.

Undoubtedly a better editorial direction along with a instruction to the authors to stick to canon over flights of fancy would have vastly improved matters.

 

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11 hours ago, Joerg said:

Moirades personally researched high level Lunar magic, according to the Fazzur piece in WF, which I took to be the cause for the moonbeam which served Terasarin to the dinosaur.

Rather than rely on a hoary old document, you could have used the Guide p175 "He achieved Illumination and used Lunar magic to soar into the heights of personal transformation" (Glorantha Sourcebook says something similar on p22 and p26).  Even the Genertela Book p56 has him studying "the subtleties of Lunar magic and fashionable decadence and is steeped in both".

Secondly Moirades was responsible for Terasarin's death was something that you should have mentioned in your previous post.  We lesser readers do not have telepathy and thus require humble words to follow the trail of your august thoughts.

 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

That takes master class scrying if that was a planned attack. I assumed that if you are a research magician who founds a university you want to lean on that institution for support in your research.

First Big Assumption: Moirades is a research magician.  Modern literature makes it clear that Moraides was focused on self-transformation rather than masterclass scrying.  

Second Big Assumption: The university that Moirades founded was any good in long distance magics.  I find this highly doubtful in that the supposed prowess of these provincial university magicians is rather light on the record in that an effete layabout in Dangerford is the only person we know to have attended it.

 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

 

But then it is astonishingly hard to find solid facts on Moirades. Sartar Kingdom of Heroes for instance has Moirades personally asking Fazzur to step in with the Starbrow Rebellion in 1613, contradicting the info that Moirades remained dead after 1610.

That's actually a repeat of a similar text in King of Sartar p121, hence an error that slipped in through a cut-and-paste is most likely.  The Glorantha Sourcebook p33 has Fazzur petitioning his brother-in-law Pharandros for command of the relieving army, which not only gives the current King's name but also inverts the request.

 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

That 1610 death date for Moirades discredits a lot of the information in King of Sartar - even the new Fazzur fragment that was added to CHDP in the hardcover edition.

Which is as it should be.  The Fazzurites fell out with Pharandros.  Hence any deeds which they acted with royal sanction are backdated to Moirades.  

 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

But the data on his involvement with the university is in the only portion of CHDP which agrees with the 1610 death date, right next to the information on starving folk in the Heartlands.

Once more.  The CHDP text does not mention "starving folk in the Heartlands".  It mentions "starving peasants" who were down river of Tarsh. Other portions of Moirades biography that agree with the 1610 death date are: Defeat of the Tarsh Exiles in 1582.  Bringing the Red-tailed flycatchers, marrying the Feathered Horse Queen (Glorantha Sourcebook p17 gives this as Virkala Tor in 1604 ST).  Hence I fail to see the significance of the data on the university agreeing with his death date considering that we are not told the date of establishment of the provincial university.

 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

I notice that you haven't deigned to comment on the ILH1 text. Is that beneath your canonicity rating?

I actually did.  I said: "This information" being your claim that Tarsh under Moirades was wealthy enough to support a new University, buy off the Feathered Horse Queen and turn Furthest into a nascent metropolis.  I took the trouble of looking it up and the supporting evidence is not there.  All that is there is Tarsh's wealth comes from grain and maize which nobody is disputing."

 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

The theory (that the Provincial University is in Furthest - PHM) isn't exactly new, and neither is the source material I have based it on. But apart from the Mirin's Cross university datum in The Coming Storm, I haven't seen any counter-proof so far, only lack of evidence in other publications.

In other words, I haven't seen anything to contradict my theory except for that explicit mention which I'll just choose to ignore.  Which is entirely the wrong approach.  What you should be doing is invoking My Glorantha Varies.

 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

(Terasarin's death - PHM is a feat of Lunar magic that is reasonably traced to Moirades.

"Reasonably" requires a number of assumptions.   The rightness or wrongness of this theory is unimportant.   What I dispute is your thesis that in order for this to happen 1) Moirades must have been a research magician 2) Moirades required the use of his own private university 3) This university must have been in Furthest rather than Mirin';s Cross 4) This university must have been the equal of the Lunar Field College of Magic 5)  The colossal sums of money required to set up this university was only possible through Tarsh becoming ridiculously wealthy through feeding the Heartlands.

An alternative explanation: Moirades wanted Terasarin dead.  He had magicians of various backgrounds working for him at the Temple of the Reaching Moon.  Through patient scrying over a number of years, they located Terasarin and immediately sent a moonbeam which caused his death.  That doesn't require as many absurd assumptions that your own theory mandates.

 

11 hours ago, Joerg said:

But then, the topic at hand was the grain support of the Lunar Army, where I brought up the grain support of the Heartlands emitted from Tarsh. I was told that there was no need for it, and I reacted to that by bringing up the wealth Tarsh made from it, and the numerous ways Tarsh invested that wealth.

The trouble is that you say the gain is destined only for the Heartlands when the other Lunar Provinces could also require some grain.  The massive wealth you claim for Tarsh requires a number of assumptions (that the Provincial University in Furthest is the equal of the Lunar Field College etc) that are simply unsupportable.

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12 hours ago, Joerg said:

On request for Furthest growing

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

ILH 1 p.55. Scholars and artisans flocking to the Kingdom of Tarsh. Also the Tarsh section of CHDP. Where would they go but to the capital? And wouldn't scholars be attracted by an institute of higher learning, whether you call it university or great library?

ILH is not a source you should be wasting time with (and this particular information is just a rehash of the material in King of Sartar).  King of Sartar p105 makes it clear that the newcomers are scolars and merchants.  I would be very surprised if an influx of scholars and merchants increases a population by more than 500.  Secondly KoS makes it plain that the scholars and merchants were impoverished - they didn't come for the higher learning but a change for a better life.

 

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

Mirin's Cross: Population 25k. A metropolis.

Furthest: Population 20k. A large city.

You originally described Furthest as a nascent metropolis and used that as support for Tarsh's fabulous wealth.  Pointing out that your statement was false should not require the level of tendentiousness you engage in.

 

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

Do read the discussion, please. The dispute is whether the wealth comes from the Tarsh grain exports, and that in turn from whether the Heartlands are depending on the steady flow of grain barges down the Oslir. Which I point out that they must be, or there wouldn't be any shipping away from the troops in Sartar and the Holy Country that rely on grain deliveries.

The sources cited in the discussion do not bear out your conclusion.

 

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

All the rest is me getting distracted to show the volume this trade must have by pointing out all the expensive projects financed by the Tarshite court, and you taking offense at my conclusions.

The only thing I have taken offense is your debating tactics.  Focus on what your position is, ground it with supporting references and avoid introducing personal theories with a large amount of unsupported assumptions.

 

On a request for a reference to Heartlands immigrants.

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

Ok. Let's start with the Guide, p.175.

The city of Furthest is the center of Tarsh culture, built over the previous settlement as a Lunar colony in Dragon Pass. It is the home of the king and his family, as well as a major Seven Mothers temple. Its residents, and the farmers who thickly populate the river valley, are thoroughly Lunarized in attitudes.

I read "as a Lunar colony" like the way Massilia or Colonia Agrippina were colonies, settlements where people from the mother culture emigrated.

And there you go again.  I asked for a reference to Heartlands immigrants during the reign of Moirades as we are referring to a migration mentioned in King of Sartar p105.  This if anything refers to the establishment of Furthest during the reign of his predecessors.  

 

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

Your accusation that I don't read the sources is what riled me up.

I do not accuse you of not reading sources.  I say you waste people's time with unsupported conjectures that you do not even acknowledge making (for example, your theories about the Lunar Provincial University, of which assuming it was in Furthest was the least objectionable conjecture).

 

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

Tarsh has been delivering the corn since Phargentes got his kingdom back to working order, so there is no hunger.

There was hunger in Moirades reign so your statement is not correct.

 

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

What was your source for Phargentes exploiting the other Provinces to the benefit of Tarsh? Other than the statement in Glorantha - Introduction to the Hero Wars, I cannot find any. I don't contest that conjecture, but it stands as an authoritative statement.

My statement was:  "I think it more likely that Phargentes as Provincial Overseer beggared the other provinces to build up his own personal kingdom in Tarsh."  One would have thought the five words at the beginning were enough to disqualify it as an authoritative statement.

And for the record since Joerg persists in being smart about this.  I am willing to defend what I wrote in the Glorantha: introduction.  I have not claimed canonical status for it for quite some time now.  I am pleased that many bits of it (such as the Larnsti) still survive in the canon.  I endeavour to treat Joerg's own contributions to the canon with similar respect.  

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

Apart from the northeastern corner of Aggar, there is only Holay on the Oslir downstream of Tarsh before the Heartlands begin.

In other words, Holar and Aggar lie downstream of Tarsh, not just the heartlands.

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

Southern Holay and northern Tarsh should have the same success or failure of harvests unless the Tarshite Hon-eel cult knows things that the Holay cult doesn't.

Just a slight fact that human sacrifice was banned throughout the Empire after the Dragonewts Dream when Tarsh was still under Palashee's control (Glorantha Sourcebook p183).  When Tarsh was liberated, a new Emperor was in charge with a different set of priorities.  So when Phargentes restablished the worship of HonEel, his grandmother, he might have had a freer hand in re-instituting Human Sacrifice.

 

12 hours ago, Joerg said:

And what happens north of Mirin's Cross happens in Sylila as well, as far as weather, climate and fertility magics go. All within the Glowline, too.

Except for the slight matter than Sylila grows rice whereas Holay and Aggar do not (Guide map p302).  

 

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13 hours ago, Joerg said:

Terasarin pushed the borders from the Creek to the Dragonspine, and his reign saw major campaigns. Hardly a period of peace for Tarsh as a whole,

The Dragonspine is a major hill range with five known passes through it.  Sartar will have major problems in launching armed invasions or raids against Tarsh in this time.

 

13 hours ago, Joerg said:

Which is why Aggar and Holay aren't wealthier than Tarsh after nearly two wanes of peace?

Aggar has a revolt in the highlands which is likely to be long-standing.  Who's to say Holay isn't wealthy?

 

13 hours ago, Joerg said:

It has been suggested before. If you don't disagree with the plunder of Boldhome not being part of the secret of the wealth of Moirades, ignore the statement. Like you ignored the ILH1 reference.

If you make such statements, you should be expected to give references to them.  And I did not ignore the ILH-1 reference.  I said it didn't support what you claimed and was largely a rehash of the statement in King of Sartar which should be preferred.

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13 hours ago, soltakss said:

Please dont!

Heh! :D

10 hours ago, M Helsdon said:

Where the presentation of military units in RQ2 and RQ3 material was obviously fairly firmly rooted in our ancient world, but with the addition of magic (a few obvious anachronisms such as dragoons and platoons, but more accessible than using an ancient term of the equivalents - or clumsily making a word up), the ILH treatment showed no understanding of ancient warfare, especially its odd concentration upon tactical squads - for which there was no equivalent in any ancient army. The closest would be the file of troops, or the war band, but they don't really fit very well. There was nothing there I could use.

I think Martin L. did have a good handle on ancient warfare. Most of what Martin L. did didn't appear in print, but floated around as (copious) background offline. From what you've written, I suspect you might not be appreciative of this, but you are both really rather similar in your approach and focus. Whenever I see 'Martin' going into numerous details/debates on Gloranthan military/logistical matters, I get a strange sense of déjà vu...

Squads? Absolutely fine! ILH is a supplement for a role-playing game, after all. The fundamental social form of Glorantha is the adventuring party, verisimilitude be damned. Sure, as times change and role-playing games develop the methodology to handle larger-scale or more abstract concepts (as Hero Wars/HeroQuest can; and as small freeforms like Tarsh War did) we can look beyond that.

But the military experience in tabletop role-playing is still rooted less in grand battle than it is a bunch of mates playing out Sharpe's Duck Hunt.

It's good that a supplement speaks to that experience and small-scale social dynamics. I think role-playing games—particularly 'historical' ones—have often struggled to translate warfare's dynamics to something that resonates with and involves players—the individual; the small group—at the table. Which is why offering something at the level of a contubernium is super, smashing, great to my eyes! (RIP.)

[Strange aside. Years ago, I pictured Delecti as Jim Bowen. I'm not sure why. But I just can't shake it.]

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1 hour ago, Quackatoa said:

[Strange aside. Years ago, I pictured Delecti as Jim Bowen. I'm not sure why. But I just can't shake it.]

Hehe...Look what you could of won....a speedboat...

sheesh that would of been useful to escape the zombie whale... :P

 

 and no I am not Martin Laurie...or Martin Crim...or Martin Helsdon... :)

Edited by Martin
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19 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

Successive 'generations' of Gloranthaphiles shitting on that which came before - usually when the recipients are no longer around to defend their piece. The longest and ignoblest tradition in Glorantha; the cycle of all things.

...

*What I find most amusing about this, is that Martin—as a relative newcomer—isn't in on the social cues that surround this merry dance the way other Gloranthaphiles are. People are very careful about criticising this material because of Mark, as he's obviously a very bright bloke, is fairly active still, and we're worried what he's picked up from his day-job... (Same situation with Mongoose and Loz and Pete.) But Wesley and Martin L.? Bah, fuck 'em, right?

Way too harsh. So it's not acceptable to say that an  item is of "poor quality" here? So no-one should be criticising poor Dobyski for his art, Hickie and Innes for Daughters of Darkness (ok I realise the latter isn't Glorantha, but it is RQ3 and comes up from time to time here). Come on.

 

Quote

Generally, not just Chaosium/Moon Design, if a designer makes a new version of a game, or publishes something that has previously been covered, the designer must state why people should buy the new material, otherwise why not stick with the old stuff? One way to do it is to say that the new material is more complete, covers a wider area, has new stuff and so on, this is what happened with the Guide to Glorantha. Another way is to say "All the other stuff that came before, except what we wrote, is rubbish", which is what Chaosium is now doing with RuneQuest, Mongoose material is all rubbush, RQ6 has a lot of flaws, ILH is of poor quality and so on. Strange that, when those supplements came out, nobody from Issaries or Moon Design said they were rubbish at the time. 

A bit of an over-generalisation, no? What if the newer stuff really is more complete and covers a wider area etc?

And I'm pretty sure that no-one has said that all the old stuff is rubbish. Because plenty is still canon, e.g. Cults of Prax and many other old publications. I'm pretty sure that no-one from Chaosium/Avalon Hill at the time said that Eldarad was rubbish, but that doesn't make it untrue.

YGWV and of course anyone is free to use any source material (or none of it) that they like. But everyone should also be free to say what they think about published material, new or old.

 

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1 hour ago, Steve said:

Way too harsh.

I don't think so, no.

You're a fan and consumer, Steve. Nowt wrong with that, and I'm not trying to elevate any type of Gloranthaphile to a higher moral plane. But you'd probably have a different perspective if you were a creator. And had spent hundreds or thousands of hours creating material in support of a paradigm of mutual support and recognition that you thought existed, but actually didn't.

Look, I'm not trying to make Glorantha into an episode of Sesame Street. Glorantha is full of incredibly opinionated, brilliant and wilful people. And some of us—me included—are utter dickheads. Ideas differ and often can't be reconciled; people think theirs are better. Some people lose out. Such is life. We're big boys—and, Jane apart, uniformly boys—and can take it.

And there are no angels or heroes. Certainly not me. I happily went about shitting on Caladraland stuff by people like Vesa. Mark (surreptitiously) and Martin L. (more openly; "Martin Lawrie goes to charm school") crapped upon Nick and Chris' Lunar Empire, just as they had their stuff crapped upon in return. Everybody does it. Well, did it. We've shrunk quite a bit.

Like Simon, I've seen several generations of "We've finally got Glorantha right this time!" Fair enough. I actually enjoy elements of change and the confrontation of ideas. I also get bored of something easily, so it is often nice to see something new. Admittedly, you're curious about what was so wrong last time—particularly as everybody seemed similarly enthused—and you do wonder why, if someone's conception is so fundamentally flawed, they were allowed to write a book for half a dozen years without anyone telling them.

But when I see a book like ILH1 described as poor, it rankles. Poor? Really? I get that people have different ideas and promote them in different ways. But when, as Simon touched upon above, that finds its expression—banal, brief, dismissive—in this manner, I'm not onboard. I have a similar reaction to when I see the dreary references to 'anthropowanking' used as a imprecise, catch-all pejorative to anything and everything people hate about Hero Wars-era Heortlings. Like we see on that RPGnet thread, for example. Fuck's sake, lads. If you think Thunder Rebels—and you mean Thunder Rebels—is an anthropology textbook, I give up.

To see that a word that was self-deprecatingly self-applied, or initially used in a warm and humorous manner, devolve into a term of derision? That truly depresses me.

It's the sense of us spiting ourselves.

And if this is a departure from the usual "Yay! Glorantha's ace!" jollity, I'm—honestly—sorry. The thread is titled 'Casualty rate in Gloranthan battles?' and it may be argued I'm off-topic. But thinking on it, I can't think of any more missed casualties of Gloranthan conflict than people like John Hughes, Roderick Robertson, Jeff Kyer (for whom I sadly take partial blame), Mark Galeotti and Chris Gidlow alike. (Nick is sort of involved on the sidelines, these days.) Some of them even did each other in! ;)

And you can add—Newt's sterling efforts apart—fan-publishing to that list. Poor sod didn't even see the round that got it!

So I'm probably just in mourning.

And on that note, enjoy the weekend! :D

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3 minutes ago, Quackatoa said:

And you can add—Newt's sterling efforts apart—fan-publishing to that list. Poor sod didn't even see the round that got it!

Actually, that's bollocks, isn't it? It saw it coming in artistic slow-mo. Talk about Zeno's paradox and St Sebastian dying of fright... Heh.

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6 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

Heh! :D

I think Martin L. did have a good handle on ancient warfare. Most of what Martin L. did didn't appear in print, but floated around as (copious) background offline. From what you've written, I suspect you might not be appreciative of this, but you are both really rather similar in your approach and focus. Whenever I see 'Martin' going into numerous details/debates on Gloranthan military/logistical matters, I get a strange sense of déjà vu...

How, precisely, can I judge something that is not in the public domain?

As a customer, I can and will voice opinions on material that fails to satisfy my personal criteria.

Some of the Hero Wars material I've picked up is excellent, even if canon has moved on: Anaxial's Roster, The Cults of Sartar, much of Thunder Rebels, the Gazetteer. The Scenario books aren't bad. But ILH stopped me looking for and buying any more. Just too weird and obscure, too divergent from what came before (and now what comes after).

Now, I appreciate that you may have some emotional attachment to the two books (I don't know who you are) but any author who goes into print has got to expect rejection. I am reminded of a book series by a friend... The first three books were good alternative history (with magic, and some disguised Lovecraftian entities hovering in the background). The fourth book went seriously awry, didn't bring the series to a conclusion (I now know there's supposed to be a sequel, one day) and there was a major and unpleasant twist for a major character at the end. It had its moments, but... So the author asks me what I thought of it. I, trying to be polite, decline. He insists. I decline. He insists. I send a two page critique. It's pretty harsh.

'Hmm,' he says, 'that's very close to what my mom says.'

Then a draft of the new book he is working on drops into my in-box.

6 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

Squads? Absolutely fine! ILH is a supplement for a role-playing game, after all. The fundamental social form of Glorantha is the adventuring party, verisimilitude be damned. Sure, as times change and role-playing games develop the methodology to handle larger-scale or more abstract concepts (as Hero Wars/HeroQuest can; and as small freeforms like Tarsh War did) we can look beyond that.

'Crunch' should reflect 'fluff', not the other way around. If the world is changed to fit in with the foibles of a game system, then there's something severely wrong with the creative process.

It's why AD&D is so unsatisfying (for me). The combat system is odd, and the treatment of cultures and religions to fit in with the abstract alignment system just doesn't work, for me.

6 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

But the military experience in tabletop role-playing is still rooted less in grand battle than it is a bunch of mates playing out Sharpe's Duck Hunt.

Perhaps, but there have been plenty of historical skirmish games which don't attempt to rewrite history to make skirmishing the only historical method of warfare.

What makes this particularly sad is that Greg Stafford came up with a simple solution for emulating battle experience, back in the days of RQ, though it wasn't part of the published rules. Very abstract, but also fairly realistic.

6 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

It's good that a supplement speaks to that experience and small-scale social dynamics. I think role-playing games—particularly 'historical' ones—have often struggled to translate warfare's dynamics to something that resonates with and involves players—the individual; the small group—at the table. Which is why offering something at the level of a contubernium is super, smashing, great to my eyes! (RIP.)

Just not realistic, if you are attempting to emulate a battle. There are ways of doing it; demeaning the setting isn't the way to go.

It depends upon your personal credulity filter. In fantasy games, literature and films, the audience is expected to adjust their expectations of what is and is not real.

For example, in The Two Towers, we have a fairly realistic active siege, albeit involving elves, orcs with gun powder, and walking trees. It's all portrayed fairly convincingly. Until the cavalry arrive and descend an 80 degree slope to charge into a line of prepared infantry. Now, you might argue that faced by a rolling charge, the Uruks will become disordered. Fine. However, riding a horse, wearing armour, down such a slope stretches credulity to breaking point and beyond. Simply couldn't happen. The horses will slip and fall. Reality crash.

I am minded of two other popular but supposedly serious films where credulity breaks very early on, both by Ridley Scott. Gladiator starts with a battle. The problem is that we know a fair bit about Roman tactics of the period, and what we see on the screen doesn't fit: heavy cavalry charging through a forest, legionaries fighting out of formation. If you know anything of the period, just about every detail is wrong, and there are errors throughout. Exodus: Gods and Kings is perhaps even worse: we have numerous errors, and the depiction of the Battle of Kadesh is just silly. I couldn't watch it beyond the point where a Hittite cavalryman was dragged along by his stirrups... We happen to know the battle site, and despite Ramesses II's propaganda, know something of the troops involved. It isn't what we see on the screen. Will most of the audience notice these things? Probably not.

In contrast, the first two Mummy films also play games with history, but, the credulity filter is at a different setting. It doesn't matter that the depiction of ancient Egypt is a mishmash and often completely wrong. They are not serious films.

What's weird, is that old Hollywood, without the benefit of CGI often provided fairly accurate depictions of Roman warfare.

So, it depends upon what you aspire to emulate. In fantasy games there's inevitably fantasy, but if it doesn't work then the whole thing collapses.

Edited by M Helsdon

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5 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

Now, I appreciate that you may have some emotional attachment to the two books (I don't know who you are)...

My name's Stewart Stansfield. I had no input in ILH1 and saw (may have briefly commented) on ILH2. But creative input? None whatsoever. I don't know Wesley, have chatted briefly with Martin and consider myself friendly with Mark (though as acquaintances, rather than friends - we don't really know each other).

 

10 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

'Crunch' should reflect 'fluff', not the other way around. If the world is changed to fit in with the foibles of a game system, then there's something severely wrong with the creative process.

Hang on, this isn't going into 'Jordan B Peterson vs Postmodernism' territory, is it?

For me, one of the fascinating things about Glorantha is how it does change to fit the game-system. Maybe not in its major themes, but certainly a great many lesser ones or their manifestation. That's what I find so fascinating about a broad-Church world like Glorantha. Bladesharp (RuneQuest) and Community Support (HeroQuest) feed into different Gloranthas. Each is a flawed and imperfect lens, but brilliant and fascinating in its own right. That's why I'm looking forward to 13th Age also, and how it will show me yet another Glorantha. It'd be boring if they were all the same, no?

Here we get three Gloranthas for the price of one! Or three. Three for the pr... oh, nevermind.

27 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

... there have been plenty of historical skirmish games which don't attempt to rewrite history to make skirmishing the only historical method of warfare.

...

Just not realistic, if you are attempting to emulate a battle. There are ways of doing it; demeaning the setting isn't the way to go.

And this is where things get awkward.

I know a little about military history. Sure, my focus isn't on ancient warfare. But I'm well aware of the historiography and the prejudices that infuse it, past or present. And I don't necessarily see many of these things as problematic in the way you do.

I've seen how you've contributed to Glorantha over the past few years. Much of it has been wonderfully rich and dedicated. But there's something about how you've interacted with the topic of Gloranthan warfare in particular that makes me feel slightly uneasy. The appeals to canon and historicity; as an authority without seeming to have any skin in the game.

I said that yourself and Martin Laurie are very similar. You are. But there's one main difference: Martin freely and unapologetically created his own stuff and placed it into Glorantha. These days, that almost comes across as a bad thing. Boo! Usurping Greg's creation! and all that. But not for me. I want more of it. I want that dissenting opinion that, now, I may think is utter bollocks, but in five years time I finally see the brilliance of*. I want to hear what makes Glorantha tick for other people; I already know what makes it tick for me.

(*Yep, I saw The West Wing too!)

I realise that can seem a bit weird to people discussing Gloranthan now, where we don't have the messy, crowd-sourced creativity of old, or the everyday Wild West shootouts of the old forums. (Though Joerg and Peter do us sterling service!)

For me, Glorantha has always been about the rough edges. The tensions, ambiguities and disagreements. The discordant voices that don't fit, yet somehow combine in some weird manner to produce their own harmony.

With Gloranthan warfare, I get the sense that we're trying to file everything down to a single perspective or according to a particular rationale. I think it needs more diversity.

This will undoubtedly come across as an attack upon you, Martin. In some ways, I guess, it is. You've done a lot of great work. I'd just like you to stand down the piquets and let a few other people in to help. They're not as scruffy as they may seem.

Anyhow, that's me done. I've taken up enough of everyone's weekend!

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4 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

Hang on, this isn't going into 'Jordan B Peterson vs Postmodernism' territory, is it?

No, this isn't a discussion of the psychology of gaming or world creation. At least, not for me.

4 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

For me, one of the fascinating things about Glorantha is how it does change to fit the game-system. Maybe not in its major themes, but certainly a great many lesser ones or their manifestation. That's what I find so fascinating about a broad-Church world like Glorantha. Bladesharp (RuneQuest) and Community Support (HeroQuest) feed into different Gloranthas. Each is a flawed and imperfect lens, but brilliant and fascinating in its own right. That's why I'm looking forward to 13th Age also, and how it will show me yet another Glorantha. It'd be boring if they were all the same, no?

All three are different lens on the same material, though given that each belongs to a different generation and style of gaming, it isn't, for me, practical to compare and contrast them. In RQ2 (and 3) there was relatively little 'community support' because with the exception of Trollpak and Griffin Mountain, the wider social obligations of adventurers was a bit fuzzy. No context, no consequences. That's because there was relatively little material available - just four boxed sets, a large book and adventure books. Perhaps if the Sartarpak had come out, things would have been different. When I was running my game, I had no access to Wyrms Footnotes or any fanzines and had to try to get my players to realize that if they acted like bandits then the local law enforcement would start to hunt them (but I didn't know that Sartar was based on tribes).

4 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

I know a little about military history. Sure, my focus isn't on ancient warfare. But I'm well aware of the historiography and the prejudices that infuse it, past or present. And I don't necessarily see many of these things as problematic in the way you do.

I've seen how you've contributed to Glorantha over the past few years. Much of it has been wonderfully rich and dedicated. But there's something about how you've interacted with the topic of Gloranthan warfare in particular that makes me feel slightly uneasy. The appeals to canon and historicity; as an authority without seeming to have any skin in the game.

I haven't played in any Glorantha game for nearly two decades, so my take is based on published material and the historical periods which Glorantha (at least in central Glorantha) appears to emulate to some degree . As for being an authority - nope, authorities have authority, I'm mostly a collator. I very much doubt that my collation will ever see print, though there may be a few pieces drawn from it in print 'soon', one of which will draw severe flak.

4 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

These days, that almost comes across as a bad thing. Boo! Usurping Greg's creation! and all that. But not for me. I want more of it. I want that dissenting opinion that, now, I may think is utter bollocks, but in five years time I finally see the brilliance of*. I want to hear what makes Glorantha tick for other people; I already know what makes it tick for me.

It's a pity I can't share my 'book' as there's plenty of opinion in there, as most of it is written as though by someone in the 5th or 6th Age (who has texts, and archaeological material from the 3rd Age, and who treats the Hero Wars as if they might have really happened), but there's too much copyright infringement in it to let it loose without permission. I've had a few messages from Chaosium staffers to share it with specific people.

4 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

(*Yep, I saw The West Wing too!)

Never seen it.

4 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

I realise that can seem a bit weird to people discussing Gloranthan now, where we don't have the messy, crowd-sourced creativity of old, or the everyday Wild West shootouts of the old forums. (Though Joerg and Peter do us sterling service!)

For me, Glorantha has always been about the rough edges. The tensions, ambiguities and disagreements. The discordant voices that don't fit, yet somehow combine in some weird manner to produce their own harmony.

I've worked through some of the old discussions (looking for material, but not finding much I could use), and some it seemed to turn pretty nasty and toxic at times.

4 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

With Gloranthan warfare, I get the sense that we're trying to file everything down to a single perspective or according to a particular rationale. I think it needs more diversity.

Interestingly, there are at least four perspectives on Gloranthan warfare, at least warfare in central Glorantha.

If those can be quantified and generalized, they are Storm, Solar, Husunchen/hunter-gatherer and Nomadic.

There's major tension between those, especially the contest between Solar and Storm, which might be simplified into uniformity versus individualism, and you can see those in the two formations most commonly associated with them: phalanx versus heroic combat/shield-wall. Very different concepts of honour, duty, and the relationship between leaders and followers. Moon throws an entirely new spanner into the works, though Lunar warfare is based in the foundation of Solar warfare... Of course, within those broad generalisations there are major differences and complications, because despite being Lunar, many Provincial regiments still fight in the manner of Storm, and both Solar/Lunar and Storm (at least in Dragon Pass) are both urbanized cultures. Sartar put in motion the creation of a centralized state, composed of more rural communities, but the principality he and his descendants were building suffered a near terminal case of Outside Context Problem, to borrow from Iain M. Banks.

There's a major distinction that must be made between the nature of warfare waged by states and by less settled groups and nomads. States field armies, mostly highly organized, with a hierarchy of command, disciplined, and well armed. These forces are best suited to open confrontation, and are often reliant upon supply train and depots. In contrast, those they label as barbarians, are usually loosely organized bands of volunteers following a chosen leader, poorly disciplined, and often lightly armed. These forces employ harassment in the form of raid, ambush, sudden attack and swift withdrawal. Mounted nomads are particularly adept at such rapid irregular warfare, unrestrained by supply lines and hindered only by booty, which they may discard at need, killing prisoners and stolen herd animals.

When the two forms of warfare collide, each despises the other, viewing them as dishonorable and cowardly.

There's then the perspective of scale: set battles versus skirmishes, but perhaps I'd best not go into that here.

4 hours ago, Quackatoa said:

This will undoubtedly come across as an attack upon you, Martin. In some ways, I guess, it is. You've done a lot of great work. I'd just like you to stand down the piquets and let a few other people in to help. They're not as scruffy as they may seem.

?

Edited by M Helsdon

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On 24/03/2018 at 2:53 PM, M Helsdon said:

Now, I appreciate that you may have some emotional attachment to the two books (I don't know who you are) but any author who goes into print has got to expect rejection.

I thought that everyone knew who Stewart was - You must have seen his excellent duck drawings and articles.

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20 minutes ago, soltakss said:

I thought that everyone knew who Stewart was - You must have seen his excellent duck drawings and articles.

I've seen the duck drawings, but not linked to the identity here.

Edited by M Helsdon

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On 3/24/2018 at 2:53 PM, M Helsdon said:

Crunch' should reflect 'fluff', not the other way around. If the world is changed to fit in with the foibles of a game system, then there's something severely wrong with the creative process.

Id take issue with this, Glorantha exists as game world. If the world definition damages the gaming experience it probably needs redesigning. Believability and suspension of disbelief are factors but only is a s much as how they effect the game.  MGF( Maxiumum Game Fun) is the order of the day.

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It's why AD&D is so unsatisfying (for me). The combat system is odd, and the treatment of cultures and religions to fit in with the abstract alignment system just doesn't work, for me.

There is also a balance to these things, and AD&D has always had issues around the depth of its game worlds, wide and large but lacking in depth and substance is my general opinion. Its often too abstract to be believable.

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Perhaps, but there have been plenty of historical skirmish games which don't attempt to rewrite history to make skirmishing the only historical method of warfare.

Not the only method of warefare, but its the type of warfare which makes much more sense within a RPG  environment.

In an RPG you want a small defined combat where the players can be the main movers and shakers on there side of the conflict. 

Any world definition that makes the players bit characters in combats and conflict, for the sake of historical accuracy  is to my mind  fundamentally broken and not fit for purpose.

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Just not realistic, if you are attempting to emulate a battle. There are ways of doing it; demeaning the setting isn't the way to go.

There has to be flex in the setting to allow games to flourish. Glorantha is not  historical phd project fro a few history buffs, its an active vibrant living game world.

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It depends upon your personal credulity filter. In fantasy games, literature and films, the audience is expected to adjust their expectations of what is and is not real.

So, it depends upon what you aspire to emulate. In fantasy games there's inevitably fantasy, but if it doesn't work then the whole thing collapses.

Its ability to suspend disbelief comes down to levels of expectation, which is based on the knowledge level of the audience, and  also the expectation/intent of the audience.

I still get annoyed by helms deep cavalry, I didn't feel robbed or notice gladiators inaccuracies, 

With all due respect I think you are different than the intended Glorantha target market on both counts, as you are much more highly informed in this area than most individuals (even gamers.)  and also as you don't actively game your not as prone to see the need of occasional fudges to keep the game moving.

Both make you more probe to see deviations between Glorantha and historical settings as more significant than others. Please don't think It means i think your positions and opinion invalid because of this, i just see that they come through a particular filter.

To conclude my game needs Lunar military in sizes that PCs can interact with , fight, threaten, rescue. I don't care what or when these appeared in real world military history, my game needs them thus they exists within the game world. We have a world in which dinosaurs and humans co-exixts, Gods are real, there are talking animals, ducks that smoke cigars. We can cope with military units of a size and style which suits the game.

Edited by Jon Hunter

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