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Colgrevance

Clearwine map changes - what does it mean for older publications?

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Taking a first look at the RuneQuest GM Screen Pack, I stumbled over the new Clearwine city map - it looks totally different from the map and description given in the Sartar Companion!

Is this indicative of a new view on Sartarite culture - more urban, less like bronze- and iron-age Gauls with their hillforts? And what does that mean for the cultural descriptions given in Sartar - Kingdom of Heroes and the Sartar Companion? Are they no longer considered canonical?

Edited by Colgrevance
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I don't know if this has changed from the initial pdf release of the GM Pack, but there's also other substantive changes: the lineage of the Colymar kings in the Pack was substantially different from the one implied in S:KoH. So yeah, while those books don't seem to be crazily out of alignment with canon, there are some cracks in there. 

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Basically it is the question how much Orlanthland architecture survived (Orlanthland was the great urban Orlanthi polity that emerged after the Gbaji Wars and then turned into the EWF), and how much of the ancient Vingkotling ruins with their cyclopean walls remained below that.

Personally, I prefer the city panorama of the Swenstown east gate in RQG p.162 over the aerial view of thatched roofs in Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes p.240, but I did not expect this island mediterranean look in a Sartarite hillfort. That map/aerial view wouldn't be out of place on cyprus (except for the central European architecture the Venetians imported there).

Blackmoor and his parentage:

Blackmoor the Rabid was presented as son of Kallai in King of Sartar (Hardcover edition/pdf) p.120 (Composite History of Dragon Pass), but as Kangharl Blackmor Kagradusson in the Colymar King List, p.180. Apparently Jeff took the Colymar Book as more authoritative when he wrote Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes, quite likely following how he had played several campaigns based on the Colymar (e.g. the Varmandi, as presented in "What My Father Told Me" for RQ3 Orlanthi when we first exchanged campaign notes on Heortland). However, the Chaosium house campaign probably was the source for the Composite History entry which had Blackmoor as Kallai's son. IIRC the Glorantha vault with all the unpublished notes from the house campaign and similar treasures only made its way to Berlin after Kingdom of Heroes was published, when Moon Design bought the rights to Glorantha from Greg, so this would have been material unavailable to Jeff when he wrote Kingdom of Heroes.

Hundreds of arguments had been typed on King of Sartar exegesis, which of the contradictory timelines and name droppings to trust and which to distrust like e.g. the deaths of Moirades, 1610 in congress with Jar-eel, and at the conquest of Furthest after the Dragonkill. The new Fazzur segment in the Hardcover mentions Moirades as king in 1613, 1619 and after the Dragonkill, too. My personal theory is that Moirades ascended to the Red Moon during/after siring Phargentes on Jar-eel, but recovered (at least occasionally and returned to Furthest to meddle with the weak reign of his older son Pharandros.

Relying on anything in King of Sartar is fraught with danger of being contradicted. Since the Guide is supposed to be 99,99% correct, I'll accept the deceased state of Moirades for 1621, but not for the mess after the Phargantite assassination of Fazzurites in 1625. It is possible that Moirades acted as an angelic guide for his at this point quite inept son, or that he re-took the reigns of the kingdom as well as he could while staying on the Red Moon most of the time. P.154 even credits Moirades (or at least his army) with killing Kallyr at the Battle of Queens. If there was lunar magic involved, that credit might be deserved.

 

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While I admire your in-depth knowledge of all things Glorantha, I am mostly concerned with the practical questions of someone wanting to run adventures in this setting:

How much of the material in older publications is still official?
Which town maps/npcs/etc. can be used as-is, and which will be changed (like Clearwine) in future books?

Or maybe there are in-game reasons for this change; then where can I find more information about them?

I get that King of Sartar is an in-game resource and should not be treated as definitive; Sartar: Kindom of Heroes and the Sartar Companion are different beasts, though (and please spare me "your Glorantha may vary" - of course it will, but I need at least some official materials to base my version on, or I could be using my own setting).

Edited by Colgrevance
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Sartar:Kingdom of Heroes and the Sartar Companion use a lot of AngloSaxon/Northern Europe/Celtic influenced illustrations. Since 2012 (when these books were published) the cultural template the Orlanthi in Sartar has changed to a more mediterranean setting. This leads to these obvious changes. So with respect to the illustration Sartar:Kingdom of Heroes and the Sartar Companion are not correct anymore. But the text in these books is still canon!

At least that's my current understanding.

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26 minutes ago, Oracle said:

But the text in these books is still canon!

Except where it isn't, as my example of Blackmoor's lineage. But that is relatively minor and indeed, I do agree with your overall sentiment. All in all, I would love to see an updated Sartar book, with appproriate art and the canon smoothed out (maybe some changes to nomenclature relating to the Orlanthi would also be incorporated). I know it kinda feels like treading water, but I do think that it would ultimately serve the current and esp. next generation of Glorantha's explorers very well.

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8 minutes ago, Grievous said:

... All in all, I would love to see an updated Sartar book, with appproriate art and the canon smoothed out (maybe some changes to nomenclature relating to the Orlanthi would also be incorporated). I know it kinda feels like treading water, but I do think that it would ultimately serve the current and esp. next generation of Glorantha's explorers very well.

Absolutely. While I have no issue to use a changed view now for cities like Clearwine, Swenstown or Boldhome I'm a bit lost with respect to smaller settlement like Old Man Village. Although the new Apple Lane map gives some hints, it's still not clear to me (mainly because my Bronze Age knowledge is near to not existing 🙂). I do not expect a new Sartar book, but my hope is that illustrations in upcoming scenario books will give some more insight.

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4 hours ago, Colgrevance said:

Taking a first look at the RuneQuest GM Screen Pack, I stumbled over the new Clearwine city map - it looks totally different from the map and description given in the Sartar Companion!

Is this indicative of a new view on Sartarite culture - more urban, less like bronze- and iron-age Gauls with their hillforts? And what does that mean for the cultural descriptions given in Sartar - Kingdom of Heroes and the Sartar Companion? Are they no longer considered canonical?

There are doubtless hillforts in Dragon Pass (which in our world aren't just restricted to Gauls and Britons, but found across Europe and into Russia, and have parallels across the world, such as the Maori Pā) but some tribal centers reuse sites occupied long before the repopulation of Dragon Pass. I suspect the cultural descriptions still stand, but have been updated, so if you look at The Coming Storm, there's considerably less Keltic/Dark Ages influence and more ancient.

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14 minutes ago, M Helsdon said:

There are doubtless hillforts in Dragon Pass (which in our world aren't just restricted to Gauls and Britons, but found across Europe and into Russia, and have parallels across the world, such as the Maori Pā) but some tribal centers reuse sites occupied long before the repopulation of Dragon Pass. I suspect the cultural descriptions still stand, but have been updated, so if you look at The Coming Storm, there's considerably less Keltic/Dark Ages influence and more ancient.

My 25 year old argument for Hallstatt era folk (Celts in the original, continental sense of the word, as far as I am concerned) still is the operative parallel - Jeff wrote "Urnfield" instead, which were the direct precursors. The people who had interaction with Scythians or related rider folk along the Danube.

I guess that does give you "more ancient", in fact, more ancient than Ancient.

Apart from the Megalithic monuments, there is very little in central, western and northern Europe from the local Bronze Age (that took over from the copper-using chalcolithic age before less than three centuries after the first bronze was used in the Fertile Crescent and lasted some 800 years after the Bronze Age collapse in the Mediterranean) that was built from stone, but there were quite a few significant structures made from the ubiquitious building material wood. This continued well into the early Middle Ages east of the Rhine, with sanctuaries like Cape Arkona on Rügen but also earliest Bronze Age henges entirely built from wood.

Even the mediaeval castles in the region where I live were built from wood atop natural stone foundations. The best lasting archaeological evidence for fortifications are the grass-sod built earthen ramparts. There are no recognizable defensive stone structures from the Megalith era. Happier times?

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12 hours ago, Oracle said:

Sartar:Kingdom of Heroes and the Sartar Companion use a lot of AngloSaxon/Northern Europe/Celtic influenced illustrations. Since 2012 (when these books were published) the cultural template the Orlanthi in Sartar has changed to a more mediterranean setting. This leads to these obvious changes. So with respect to the illustration Sartar:Kingdom of Heroes and the Sartar Companion are not correct anymore. But the text in these books is still canon!

At least that's my current understanding.

We also have a much bigger art budget nowadays - Sartar and Sartar Companion were books Rick and I did on a shoe-string budget. I think we did great work for what resources we had,  but RQ reflects how I would do things going forward. There are things here and there that have been tweaked, largely based on Greg giving me loads of material when I was working on the Guide that let me refine things (like the amazing royal genealogy chart that made its way into the RQ Adventures Book).

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17 hours ago, Colgrevance said:

How much of the material in older publications is still official?
Which town maps/npcs/etc. can be used as-is, and which will be changed (like Clearwine) in future books?

Overall I don't think it matters for games. @Jeff won't know what will be changed until it happens. Just use them as is. Maps that have been changed can be used for places that you don't have maps for, Chaosium is unlikely to produce a map for every settlement in Glorantha. Many years ago I used to run Pavis games, I didn't have the Pavis set, so used Carse from Mikademia press instead and just called it Pavis and ignored all the sea mentions and used river instead. In some respects it was better as the Lunars occupied the castle...

161169295_Screenshot2019-04-12at12_59_56.png.9f53c437abf30b726909202f2e585620.png

It didn't matter

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In all respect, but I disagree. I like to show maps and illustrations to my players to establish a certain feel for a town/people/culture, and in my experience this works way better than lengthy descriptions (my players tend not to read the books). But showing the new Clearwine map vs. the "keltic" hillfort from the Sartar Companion evokes totally different associations, and I don't want to struggle against preconceptions because of misleading first impressions.

It didn't matter to you, but it matters to me.

Anyway, thanks to all that chimed in; I take from this discussion that there indeed is some sort of retcon going on, at least with the way Sartarite cities are portrayed, and that I should use maps and illustrations from older books sparingly, if at all.

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1 minute ago, Colgrevance said:

In all respect, but I disagree. I like to show maps and illustrations to my players to establish a certain feel for a town/people/culture, and in my experience this works way better than lengthy descriptions (my players tend not to read the books). But showing the new Clearwine map vs. the "keltic" hillfort from the Sartar Companion evokes totally different associations, and I don't want to struggle against preconceptions because of misleading first impressions.

It didn't matter to you, but it matters to me.

Anyway, thanks to all that chimed in; I take from this discussion that there indeed is some sort of retcon going on, at least with the way Sartarite cities are portrayed, and that I should use maps and illustrations from older books sparingly, if at all.

Yes. More precisely, we have retconned a retcon. The look we have established in RQG is the look going forward. 

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Just now, Jeff said:

Yes. More precisely, we have retconned a retcon. The look we have established in RQG is the look going forward. 

Thank you for officially clarifying that, much appreciated!

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Given that retconning and Gregging has been part of Glorantha almost since the start, we really shouldn't say YGMV. We should just say GWV, Glorantha Will Vary. 

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10 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

Given that retconning and Gregging has been part of Glorantha almost since the start, we really shouldn't say YGMV. We should just say GWV, Glorantha Will Vary. 

With the Guide, we finally had access to the art resources we have wanted. I'd consider the art from the Guide on pretty definitive. 

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13 minutes ago, Bohemond said:

Given that retconning and Gregging has been part of Glorantha almost since the start, we really shouldn't say YGMV. We should just say GWV, Glorantha Will Vary. 

Yeah, YGWV is what's usually found.

I do understand the frustrations here. The Sartar books being said to be canon, and only finding out about the retcons being retconned when they're retcons can be annoying.

But I also completely understand that no book's going to be put out with the warning that it's inaccurate but the budget doesn't allow for more accuracy; so these things are going to happen regretfully.

So things can at best be said as accurate for the time and with the proviso that later works may change things when better things are available.

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This is why many cultures in Glorantha are opposed to writing down their most important knowledge. Once it has been written down, it can no longer change with reality, and will inevitably become inaccurate over time.

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10 hours ago, Jeff said:

With the Guide, we finally had access to the art resources we have wanted. I'd consider the art from the Guide on pretty definitive. 

I'm hoping for some of Andrey Fetisov's excellent adventurer illustrations to be rendered as 28mm figures, myself.

As far as I'm concerned, he's nailed the Bronze Age influences (both Mediterranean and Central European) perfectly, while adding some truly amazing Gloranthan colour to the mix.

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12 hours ago, Bohemond said:

Given that retconning and Gregging has been part of Glorantha almost since the start, we really shouldn't say YGMV. We should just say GWV, Glorantha Will Vary. 

Retconning? Ahh, gregging, that I understand!

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On 4/13/2019 at 1:08 AM, EMH said:

I'm hoping for some of Andrey Fetisov's excellent adventurer illustrations to be rendered as 28mm figures, myself.

As far as I'm concerned, he's nailed the Bronze Age influences (both Mediterranean and Central European) perfectly, while adding some truly amazing Gloranthan colour to the mix.

Yes I agree. Can’t wait to see more of his work. I think he’s a key to making Bronze Age Glorantha truly accessible. The new maps of clearwine, Boldhome, and Apple lane are stunning. The thematic change of the Orlanthi back to what I felt was the original feel/vibe of Glorantha is big reason why I’m fully behind the new RuneQuest Glorantha. That’s the foundation and inspiration I’m personally looking for, so thanks Chaosium.

 But as they say your YGMV.

 

 

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