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2 cults at the creation

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36 minutes ago, womble said:

In a lot of the cases (like trolling off to Esrolia for a siege) there isn't enough time in the year for them to be doing anything other than 'the exciting stuff' and 'travelling back and forth to home'; certainly not enough time to get their 'default occupation rolls' each season.

You don't start rolling on the background tables until you're 18, it's only the most recent 4 years of your life. If you're a farmer, you've been living on a farm for 18 years, and working on the farm for well over half of that, probably herding sheep or milking cows since the age of 5. My uncle helped with a sow birthing at age 7, his father came and took him out of school to do it because he needed his small hands.

Sure, a more detailed character creation system might be good for some, but too much for others.

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Indeed. I'm not saying that a Farmer-born shouldn't have skills in Farm. But those four years out in the big world will have far more effect on our character than the current system allows for. It's thoroughly inconsistent, too. How many 'Infantry' get trained in only infantry operations for the first 18 years of their life. In Sartar? I guess the rules on inexperienced adventurers suggest that the 'Occupation' skill levels are for 18 year olds, with the 4 x +25 and 5 x +10 'personal interest' skills being what you get as part and parcel of the 1622-1625 arbitrary generation. But how many people "grow up" as bandits? That seems more likely to be a post-18 career 'choice'.

I've just (having run my players through the published thing) become dissatisfied with the superficiality of it.

 

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15 hours ago, womble said:

Sure, they were farmers when they went to Iceland. No problem with that. But while helping Samastina out in Nochet for a year, then trailing after Argrath to Pavis via Pennel Ford, they won't have been being farmers; they "should" be selecting from a different skill development list for those years. For that matter, they weren't being farmers for 1622 either, because there was no farming going on in the Great Winter.

The 'previous experience' bit represents a synthesis of the character's 'life so far' which includes childhood, adolescence and their 3-5 years since initiation into Adulthood. Yes, someone born a Farmer should have an improved Farm skill, but 3 years 'off adventuring' (which is what a lot of the lifepath stuff leads your characters to doing) won't do much to bring that up to the same level of Farm as their cousin who stayed home in Sartar til the Dragonrise. Sure you can shim the system, but it's disappointing that it's so necessary.

You're completely right.  I don't know if you've heard of M-Space but I just completed a character generation system for it called Origins that does that exact type of thing.  Gives you your skills as your life events unfold.  You're a smuggler?  Good chance you wound up in prison and learned a lot about hard labor and prison life, more so than smuggling and your career starts the day you're released from prison - or escaped.  Also quite possible you were a wildly successful smuggler and have a starship of your own to begin your career with.

But RQG didn't go that route.  Their intent was different.  The intent is not to create a character generations system that builds the character, it's to give new players an introduction into the world so they can start off being immersed, instead of feeling like they don't know anything about their character or the world they come from.

From that perspective, they did an excellent job.

What you want sounds more like what Origins does: give a character generation system that provides their background and explains who they are.  But my system could create characters in any universe.  What Runequest needs is to give players a sense of where they are.  You can provide both with a little extra work of your own.  Just take the background stories and when you reach the point where the characters are gaining their own skills, add in your own skill generating personal background events.  You'd have to build said generators for every character class, much as I did for Origins (actually, my system is way more complex as it combines character class with homeworld type to provide over 500 templates for each possible character background).  So get creative!

And have fun doing it :)

 

PS.  Origins should be coming out sometime next year in the M-Space Companion.  If you need inspiration before then, I suggest looking into Mongoose Traveller's Core Rule Book for ideas of how to create characters based on Occupation while giving them a background grounded in Glorantha.

Edited by Pentallion

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Haven't heard of that one; I'll give it a look while I've got some downtime! While I can agree that getting new players immersed in the dense background of Glorantha is important, I think that could have been done just as well as part of a more "character building", as you describe it previous experience system. The current version, for a number of reasons, feels like it was hashed out on the back of an envelope over lunch. One of the two major disappointments, I think, that I'm finding as I get more of the system internalised.

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This only really became a point of interest for me because the RQG Telmori PC that I was generating as an exercise "fought with great glory alongside King Broyan at Pennel Ford" and gained amongst other things a Devotion (Deity) passion. Now actually during a battle a devotion to Humact or Orlanth might make sense, but I was thinking of it more as something of a recognition for having aided Broyan to some degree, and I though who might Orlanth send to pal up with a Telmori ? and I thought of Odayla. Now the only objection that I can see is that Odaylans have Yinkin as an associated cult and are forbidden to slay an alynx except in extreme need, whereas Temori are 'hostile' to all cat relatives. But it seems to me that it ought to be possible to restrain one's hostility without denying or reneging on it. As a PC Telmori out in the world without the tribe around him, having a more respectable shape changing deity in his corner might improve surviability somewhat. It would be less contentious to devote to Orlanth rather than Odayla, but maybe less interesting.

It's not a character that I'm going to run a game, but I'd be interested to hear what other people think about this sort of interoperability. The Bestiary just says (of Telmori shamans who deal mainly with animal spirits). Spirits of wolves are always friendly and other animal spirits are usually neutral, but dog spirits and cat spirits are always hostile. Is a bear spirit (as another big carnivore) too much of a rival to be neutral to a wolf kin? Or is the cat and dog stuff a very particular thing as this suggests?

The character's mother survived  the Second Invasion of Prax, the Grazeland Campaign and the Hendriking Campaign as a healer; how? (in my head attached to a mercenary company including some Telmori Warriors). This made me think that her children weren't left home chasing deer on the Wolf Ridges while she fought the Lunars whose Crimson Bat ate her father at Boldhome. But other than in some wilderness like Balazar, how does a Telmori survive beyond the confines of the tribe? They are feared for their Wildday activities and presumably Stormbulls will 'react' to them which seems to make playing a Telmori pretty difficult in most places in Genertela. 

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For me, the Devotion(Deity) outcomes aren't 'rewards' necessarily from the Deity, but affirmation of the character in their Devotion to the Deity they already follow or are close to. I don't have enough knowledge of Telmori cosmology to say who that would naturally be, but my shaky grasp suggests Hykim/Mikyh or even Telmor, if that's a Cult.

There's 'history' to say Orlanthi don't have to be hostile to Werewolves; the Telmori have provided Sartar Royal Guard for generations, after all. But Odayala is Yinkin's nephew; your character would have had to have done something right special to get in his good graces. I guess Pennel Ford did have the whole Harrek going Mondo on everyone thing, and there are, IIRC, suggestions that the White Bear and Odayala have Miffic Links.

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I agree that the devotion to a god is something from within the character revealing that they honour or understand the god to an unusual degree. If it had been connected with an event concerning the great winter or being nearly killed by an elder race, I would probably have attributed it to Telmor without a second thought. It was the particular confluence with King Broyan (actually at the siege of Notchet, the character went on to witness Harrek the Berserk at Pennel Field and I got the battles muddled up) that made me think of slanting it towards an Orlanth pantheon god. Doesn't it say somewhere that Broyan is the most important Orlanth worshiper since Harmast? The bestiary says that all Telmori are initiates of Telmor by birth, but technically the character history comes before the player selects which cult they are initiated into, so in general there is no cult that they already follow, unless they jump forwards when the devotion outcome occurs and then jump back to character history again. 

I'm not sure if I understand the Odayla RQG entry properly as to whether an Odaylan initiate has to have an alynx companion or whether it is just frequently useful in Theyalan hunting to partner with the Theyalan hunting animal. Having an Alynx and a wolf brother might indeed be problematic...

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I'm pretty sure an Odayalan isn't compelled to have an Alynx companion, in the same way that Alynx are not compelled to become an Odayala hunter's sidekick. Yinkini would have Alynx hunting cats more often, and I'm not sure even they all do. So you could happily play an Odayalan hunter with a Wolf Brother, and I don't think there's any inherent conflict between the Cults that would mean they'd automatically be enemies. You'd have to find a Hunter who could see past cultural prejudices, though, if they had any against Telmori, because the two cults are certainly not Associated (with the general level of mutual acceptance that implies).

In the end, though, the PCs in the game are generally going to be the exceptions, so, as long as the player is prepared to deal with consequences that might come up in social environments that differ from the one where they got dual-Initiated, it's all grist for the MGF mill :)

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On 12/7/2018 at 10:05 AM, Pentallion said:

 

PS.  Origins should be coming out sometime next year in the M-Space Companion.  If you need inspiration before then, I suggest looking into Mongoose Traveller's Core Rule Book for ideas of how to create characters based on Occupation while giving them a background grounded in Glorantha.

Thanks for that (and M-space). I've loved the TNE setting for years, but not the system. (Apologies for the OT, and back to your scheduled programming)

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