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kaosin23

Pregnant Adventurers

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The downtime rules mention male adventurers potentially having children by wives and others they may have had contact with if they wish.

However, I have not been able to find anything on female adventurers having children. Considering that a requirement of becoming an Ernaldan priestess is to give birth to a healthy child, this seems to be a major oversight.

Are there any guidelines for pregnancy for female adventurers?

(Wife is playing an Ernaldan with aspirations in a game I'm running, so this might be important).

Thanks!

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I'd imagine there would be a whole sub-cult devoted to conception, pregnancy and labour. Gloranthan magic would make the whole process safer but as adventuring is inherently risky how much 'confinement' would be an important consideration plus neonatal care and breastfeeding. We just had a women in gaming month so I'd be interested in women gamers point of view?

 

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1 hour ago, trystero said:

And the sample character in the new Selkana's Saga series of blog posts "uses sex and pregnancy as a way to form political alliances". I'd love to see a rules sidebar for handling pregnancy in the game.

I'd love to see it too, but if I were a publisher I wouldn't touch those subjects with a 20' pole.

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19 minutes ago, styopa said:

I'd love to see it too, but if I were a publisher I wouldn't touch those subjects with a 20' pole.

Why not? Monte Cook games handled it for Numenera in a very mature and respectable way, something Chaosium seems to understand. As important as family is being made out to be in the new Runequest, it seems like they've put themselves into a position where they have to address it. I really don't understand the reluctance nowadays. During the 80s, sure, but not now.

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21 minutes ago, styopa said:

I'd love to see it too, but if I were a publisher I wouldn't touch those subjects with a 20' pole.

One of the PCs in the Temple of the Wooden Sword campaign was pregnant and gave birth during a troll attack on the temple. 

No reason not to include some guidelines somewhere.

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23 minutes ago, trystero said:

And the sample character in the new Selkana's Saga series of blog posts "uses sex and pregnancy as a way to form political alliances". I'd love to see a rules sidebar for handling pregnancy in the game.

Hello, I'm Scott from the blog! Glad to see it being referenced!

Pregnancy and birth are actually quite well supported in the corebook. Ernalda is, of course, a major deity of birth and reproduction, and gives her followers access the the rune spells Bless Pregnancy and Reproduce. Bless Pregnancy, in particular, is the "female adventurers can adventure while pregnant without worry" spell.  Reproduce, in turn, gives players control over when their PC conceives, and guarantees a healthy baby. Those two spells are probably among the most popular services that Earth temples provide, so I'd give PC get easy access to them. There are doubtless other cults and spells (rune or otherwise) related to the topic that aren't detailed in the book. It's a good topic for worldbuilding! I'd be very curious to learn what the Praxians do, for instance.

The childbirth rules in the back of the book are actually a pretty big abstraction, seemingly intended for clan and/or saga based play. The childbirth table is good if you want to leave things to chance, or keep them at a distance, but I would personally wouldn't use it without working out how players felt about it first.

Something important to note is that child-rearing is very, very different in a clan based society than it is in modern life. Clans are communalistic organizations based on strong family webs. Leaving a child to be raised by one's clan would be an unexceptional decision for a person called to adventure. Heck, the astute among you many have already noticed that Yanioth from Vasana's saga became a Ernalda priestess during the course of the sidebar adventures. She's got a baby tucked away somewhere, and it didn't slow her down!

In general, the whole issue of reproduction is very much subject to the rule of Maximum Game Fun, and should be handled with frank conversation around the table. Literally everyone has Very Strong Opinions about the subject,  but that's largely because it's hugely important and central to our psyches and societies. I recommend letting players engage with the bits they want to, and letting anything they don't want to engage with slide.

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29 minutes ago, Scott A said:

Hello, I'm Scott from the blog! Glad to see it being referenced!

Pregnancy and birth are actually quite well supported in the corebook. Ernalda is, of course, a major deity of birth and reproduction, and gives her followers access the the rune spells Bless Pregnancy and Reproduce. Bless Pregnancy, in particular, is the "female adventurers can adventure while pregnant without worry" spell.  Reproduce, in turn, gives players control over when their PC conceives, and guarantees a healthy baby. Those two spells are probably among the most popular services that Earth temples provide, so I'd give PC get easy access to them. There are doubtless other cults and spells (rune or otherwise) related to the topic that aren't detailed in the book. It's a good topic for worldbuilding! I'd be very curious to learn what the Praxians do, for instance.

The childbirth rules in the back of the book are actually a pretty big abstraction, seemingly intended for clan and/or saga based play. The childbirth table is good if you want to leave things to chance, or keep them at a distance, but I would personally wouldn't use it without working out how players felt about it first.

Something important to note is that child-rearing is very, very different in a clan based society than it is in modern life. Clans are communalistic organizations based on strong family webs. Leaving a child to be raised by one's clan would be an unexceptional decision for a person called to adventure. Heck, the astute among you many have already noticed that Yanioth from Vasana's saga became a Ernalda priestess during the course of the sidebar adventures. She's got a baby tucked away somewhere, and it didn't slow her down!

In general, the whole issue of reproduction is very much subject to the rule of Maximum Game Fun, and should be handled with frank conversation around the table. Literally everyone has Very Strong Opinions about the subject,  but that's largely because it's hugely important and central to our psyches and societies. I recommend letting players engage with the bits they want to, and letting anything they don't want to engage with slide.

It just doesn't seem quite fair in some ways that the male adventurers get to spread it around with random rolls in the downtime tables, which is part of why I brought this up here. It's just that having a little more guidance might be nice, even if in the form of a sidebar stating part of what you've written above.

That said, I'm definitely interested in seeing how your blog goes, and I'll point my wife at it, too.

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, kaosin23 said:

It just doesn't seem quite fair in some ways that the male adventurers get to spread it around with random rolls in the downtime tables,

"Life has many wonderful qualities - fairness, sadly, is not one of them."

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In my scenario featuring female descendants of an Asrelia priestesses charged with bringing great-grandma's corpse to her maternal family's tomb I meant to have a pregnant woman and an woman with a toddler on her arms/being breast-fed as pre-gens. The version which I managed to finish so far went into the German HeroQuest scenario collection, and there both forms of maternality can be used as an augment.

I see no reason why maternal activities should not be used as a passion in RQG, and I can see few activities more appropriate to accompany fertility magic. Yes, these women will carry their babies into conflict and possibly battle, and out of it as well, and be recipients of divine as well as human protection. In social conflict, like demanding hospitality from clans which may have a few in-laws, demonstrating maternality will be a good boast.

Even in social situation with trolls this can be a powerful augment. Uz society is extremely matriarchal, and respect for childbearing or child-raising females is ingrained in troll behavior. True, there is the downside of holding a very tasty looking squirming snack in their arms, but trolls aren't monsters, with the probable exception of Death Lords and their gangs.

Toddlers can disarm or distract most martial men, giving the mothers inroads to lay down the existence of another way. This isn't limited to followers of Orlanth.

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10 hours ago, Joerg said:

Toddlers can disarm or distract most martial men, giving the mothers inroads to lay down the existence of another way. This isn't limited to followers of Orlanth.

But the disarming rules don't mention toddlers, unless you are parrying with it!!!🤣

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1 minute ago, PhilHibbs said:

But the disarming rules don't mention toddlers, unless you are parrying with it!!!🤣

May I refer you to Oliver Dickinson's "Holding the Baby"?

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I absolutely think that this is a topic were someone who has actually been pregnant should get to have their say on the matter and anyone who hasn't hold their council.

However... since no one has brought it up yet it may be worth mentioning the Xiola Umbar Speciality Rune spell Couvade (It can be found in Troll Pack and Troll Gods).  It would certainly help out any pregnant adventuring lady.

I would guess the RQG conversion would be:
Couvade 2pts Fertility or Harmony; Touch, Duration (Pregnancy) Non-Stackable. Cast upon a pregnant woman and the father and transfers all of the pains and sickness of pregnancy to the father.  Both must be present and consent. Father may be incapacitated with pain, but suffer no lasting injury. Must be cast during the first trimester of pregnancy.

Re-reading the spell after all these years an evil GM thoughts occurs... the wording is father not 'husband' or 'partner', so I could imagine a few awkward moments if the spell fails for some reason. A whole world of plot hooks and plot twists opens up.

I think it also goes some way to explain why Trolls are so accepted in the Holy Country. In a society were the most powerful people have all given birth, anyone who can cast this spell is going to have a lot of influence.

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12 minutes ago, Gryphaea said:

 ...

Re-reading the spell after all these years an evil GM thoughts occurs... the wording is father not 'husband' or 'partner', so I could imagine a few awkward moments if the spell fails for some reason. A whole world of plot hooks and plot twists opens up

...

Note that many Gloranthan cultures are far more open-minded on questions of "sexual fidelity" and sometimes even patrilineage.  That isn't necessarily "awkward" at all... though it certainly could be, some times & places!

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Another thought on this topic is how long is human gestation in Glorantha? Is that recorded anywhere? 
As the Gloranthan year is shorter than a Terran year should human pregnancy be shorter too? Say about 4 seasons - or 32 weeks (rather than 40)
With a Gloranthan year being 280 + 14 (sacred time) days it is pretty close to the roughly 280 days of Terran pregnancy - so perhaps all year, but what are the mythic/time consequences of getting pregnant? Can you get pregnant during sacred time? Can you get pregnant during a HeroQuest? Would bringing a fetus conceived in God Time into the mundane world have cosmic consequences? Is there a kind of Gloranthan Astrology - your fate is influenced by when you were born in the year?
The original topic is important and needs consideration in the context of a wider, diverse game that respects and draws from different experiences, and I think we do need to seriously think about that. But, also, you know, whole new Gloranthan rabbit hole!!!!!!!!

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15 hours ago, Gryphaea said:

I absolutely think that this is a topic were someone who has actually been pregnant should get to have their say on the matter and anyone who hasn't hold their council.

Whilst that would be good - and I'm sure Jeff will talk to Claudia about that if there are going to be official rules - it's a bit like saying you shouldn't comment on the damage rules unless you have been stabbed.

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Couvade is only one of Xiola Umbar's nifty spells about pregnancy. "Transfer Pregnancy" is a spell with a whole lot of practical and political implications, too. Imagine an aging queen of an Esrolian city needing to prove her fertility, a Xiola Umbar priestess willing to perform the ritual, and a daughter or granddaughter inconveniently pregnant when she should be available for the marriage market. And the adventurers tasked with bringing all of these together without anyone else noticing.

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6 hours ago, Joerg said:

Couvade is only one of Xiola Umbar's nifty spells about pregnancy. "Transfer Pregnancy" is a spell with a whole lot of practical and political implications, too. Imagine an aging queen of an Esrolian city needing to prove her fertility, a Xiola Umbar priestess willing to perform the ritual, and a daughter or granddaughter inconveniently pregnant when she should be available for the marriage market. And the adventurers tasked with bringing all of these together without anyone else noticing.

I'd imagine there's a host of prosaic spirit magic (and divine) that aren't laid out in a set of game rules that tends to focus on combat- or adventuring-utility spells, or at least those applications.

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5 hours ago, styopa said:

I'd imagine there's a host of prosaic spirit magic (and divine) that aren't laid out in a set of game rules that tends to focus on combat- or adventuring-utility spells, or at least those applications.

Oh absolutely, it would be fun to work some of them out. It’s already been suggested that most people call Disruption ‘Kill Rat’ or some such, but that’s just working with what we already have. Tunnels & Trolls had a heal spell called “Poor Baby”, maybe that’s a spirit spell that just eases pain from minor injuries, headaches and such.

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On ‎7‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 3:23 AM, Gryphaea said:

As the Gloranthan year is shorter than a Terran year should human pregnancy be shorter too? Say about 4 seasons - or 32 weeks (rather than 40)
With a Gloranthan year being 280 + 14 (sacred time) days it is pretty close to the roughly 280 days of Terran pregnancy - so perhaps all year

Based on the old story The Smell of a Rat in the RQ Companion, I think it's been generally assumed to take the whole year.  However, Ernalda magic can allow you to speed up or slow down the pregnancy so that you can target a birth at a propitious date in the calendar.

On ‎7‎/‎11‎/‎2018 at 3:23 AM, Gryphaea said:

but what are the mythic/time consequences of getting pregnant? Can you get pregnant during sacred time? Can you get pregnant during a HeroQuest? Would bringing a fetus conceived in God Time into the mundane world have cosmic consequences? Is there a kind of Gloranthan Astrology - your fate is influenced by when you were born in the year?

IMO, the answers are:

Yes, there can be mythic/time consequences of getting pregnant.

Yes, you can get pregnant during sacred time - could be very propitious, but likely more risks/dangers (e.g. giving birth during the 'Great Darkness' or in the 'Underworld').

Yes, of course you can get pregnant on a HeroQuest!  A good example in the Eleven Lights, p.119 if you seduce one of the Guardians to enter the Underworld.  "If a PC successfully seduces Kaldar or Sinjota, there should be consequences. A woman who seduces Kaldar will give birth the next year to a child destined to play a major role in the Hero Wars. A man who seduces Sinjota will sire a demonic entity who may end up aiding its father, or perhaps pursuing him, depending on the Game Master’s wishes."

Yes, would have consequences - see above.

Yes, there's lots of Gloranthan astrology.  Apply as you wish!

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I believe there were rules for pregnancy in RQ in an old issue of Different Worlds (#24).

The rules as I recall were fairly real-world based rather than mythic. Pregnancy should enhance certain powers for Earth cultists, though as I recall it proved a problem for Vinga (source ?).

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2 hours ago, jeffjerwin said:

I believe there were rules for pregnancy in RQ in an old issue of Different Worlds (#24).

The rules as I recall were fairly real-world based rather than mythic. Pregnancy should enhance certain powers for Earth cultists, though as I recall it proved a problem for Vinga (source ?).

There were, but I can't really remember them. There were also some guidelines about gaining special abilities (non-chaotic Chaotic Abilities) by being born in the Sacred Time, somewhere.

Edited by soltakss

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