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klecser

Occupation cult question

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Is it allowed/wise to pick a cult that is unaffiliated with your occupation?

Earlier in character creation I picked Ernalda as my Cult. But, I want my character to be heavy infantry and Ernalda is not listed as a typical cult.

I've been role-playing for a long time and I don't believe in limiting character creation options. But at the same time, I don't know Glorantha, or this game very well yet and I'm just wondering if there is some game-ruining reason that makes picking a cult occupation outside of the listed a dumb idea. I also have an "optimization" mentality that has been pounded into my head, and BRP is slowly breaking me of that.

Or, let me ask this in another way, because I have "DND Mindset" Disease right now. Do Farmers go on adventures in this game? And that causes me to look at "Farmer" occupation and equate that with "boring." I know that isn't fair. DND teaches me that Farmers are not adventurers. Should I broaden my mindset as to who QUESTS in this world?

Edited by klecser
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Yes, you can choose other cults.

Remember that cults usually affiliate at the clan level.... so, in Sartar, most people will be part of the Orlanth cult - regardless of their occupation. Although, obviously, many will be part of other cults (as well or instead...).

And, the deities have very different aspects that can make it appropriate for very disparate people to worship them.

 

RE: farmer adventurers... wasn't that Conan??? There are lots of reasons a farmer would be an 'adventurer' (which isn't an occupation!) And, as a real basic, clans often raided each other for their livestock... and, if your tula is attacked, you are expected to help pitch in and defend it. If they take off with something of yours, you might be expected to go and get it back... or seek revenge!

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15 minutes ago, klecser said:

Is it allowed/wise to pick a cult that is unaffiliated with your occupation?

There are some occupations that are more incompatible with some cults than others. Ernalda is a Queen, mother, healer, peacemaker, and various other roles. She has Husband-Protectors to send off to fight her wars.  But, armies also include figures who can cast powerful magics to aid them including Ernaldan healers and priestesses.

If you see a path by which your Ernalda initiate works within the heavy infantry, then make it so! 

15 minutes ago, klecser said:

Do Farmers go on adventures in this game? And that causes me to look at "Farmer" occupation and equate that with "boring."

Yes, and one of the greatest Orlanthi heroes, Harmast, was a farmer who was forced to take up the way of the sword and go on great quests both to recover his plough from a powerful demon as well as to bring back the warriors from the Underworld who could save the world from insidious chaos.

Occupation is "where you've been". Your adventurer is "in the now". If they are Orlanthi, they still participate in the fyrd/militia, and go on cattle raids and the like. The story of Minaryth Blue (in King of Sartar) is a good example of a farmer/herder who is forced into periodic adventures/wars but regularly returns home to try to have a normal life amidst the Hero Wars.

It's only boring if you think (or make your adventurer think) that farming is boring. But otherwise, they are participating in the annual cycle of life that keeps the world going.

Quote

Should I broaden my mindset as to who QUESTS in this world?

Yes! My campaigns have had adventurers who were: merchants, scribes, cooks, conmen, smugglers, entertainers, healers as well as more traditional fighters, priests/priestesses, and magic wielders. 

Edited by jajagappa
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2 hours ago, klecser said:

Is it allowed/wise to pick a cult that is unaffiliated with your occupation?

Allowed, yes, of course, you can have any cult, within reason.

Wise, perhaps, that depends on your campaign and how it works.

On the Allowed bit, you could be a Warrior and pick Chalana Arroy, which is such a mismatched choice that it prevents you from using most of your Warrior stuff, except when fighting Undead.

On the Wise bit, you might find that your PC can be a member of an unsuitable or atypical cult and it works OK. Or, you could find that you can't operate unless you are in a fighting cult. It all depends on the campaign, how the GM is and other things. Sometimes it is useful to be in a different cult, as you can react differently to certain circumstances or use your skills/spells in unusual ways. So, if you come across a woman giving birth, there's not a lot a Heavy Infantryman can do, but there is a lot that an Ernaldan can do, so you could assist in the birth and perhaps save the woman's life.

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13 hours ago, soltakss said:

Wise, perhaps, that depends on your campaign and how it works.

This is the biggest thing to highlight. It depends a lot on the campaign. I really like the spread of occupational choices but, honestly, I really do think that the sub-optimal ones--like Farmer, Herder, Fisher, etc--can be risky. I run a pretty hack & slash campaign, and I feel like one of my players, who's playing a herder of the Bison Tribe (worshipping Waha) is frequently outshined by other party members, particularly because our game's quite combat-heavy (which I'm working on training them out of, a little, but that's taking time). Now I do think he's more amused by this than annoyed, and he ends up providing a sort of foil to the heroic warrior nonsense going about so it works for us.

One of the other campaign-centric things to keep in mind is if you'll be playing centered on "keep my tula safe" as Shining and Jaja implied. I do feel like "adventurer" is an occupation (of sorts) in Glorantha, even if that's not the case in a majority of Gloranthas. In a campaign more centered on "we're adventurers doing stuff" those "everyday" occupations are, IMHO, likely to provide less fun.

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16 hours ago, jajagappa said:

Occupation is "where you've been". Your adventurer is "in the now".

I was going to say exactly this. Your character may have been a farmer, but right now she's an adventurer.

55 minutes ago, Crel said:

This is the biggest thing to highlight. It depends a lot on the campaign. I really like the spread of occupational choices but, honestly, I really do think that the sub-optimal ones--like Farmer, Herder, Fisher, etc--can be risky. I run a pretty hack & slash campaign, and I feel like one of my players, who's playing a herder of the Bison Tribe (worshipping Waha) is frequently outshined by other party members, particularly because our game's quite combat-heavy

Clearly. If 4 out of your 5 players create fighter types, they are teling you, the GM, they are expecting to have fun by fighting a lot in the adventures to come (or perhaps they expect a higher survival chance because they have been led to believe there will be a lot of combat). In this case, you will have to prepare scenes where the herder gets to outshine the fighters with his abilities in order to balance the "hero time" of each character.

On the contrary, if you encourage players to create characters who are fishers, herders, farmers, healers, scribes... They'll be more on the same boat and the adventures they face will be less combat-oriented.

As an aside, here's a picture of the videogame King of Dragon Pass: 90% of all these people are Orlanthi farmers fighting boredom!   :lol:

Battle-in-King-of-Dragon-Pass-original-version.jpg

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32 minutes ago, Runeblogger said:

In this case, you will have to prepare scenes where the herder gets to outshine the fighters with his abilities in order to balance the "hero time" of each character.

My favorite moment involving this: my players were planning how to defend a village from an oncoming raid by trolls. So the herder hides in the sheep corral, and when the trollkin charge the villagers + adventurers, he used Herd (and his Praxian hound) to stampede the sheep from their flank, breaking the charge.

So yeah I wouldn't say it's impossible to keep up with Warriors; it just might require extra creativity.

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Relevant to this very question, there's a great BBC documentary covering the discovery of a Bronze Age village at Must Farm in the Cambridgeshire fens. As the archaeologists excavated the site they found evidence that the occupants raised cattle, grew crops, owned scythes, made their own high quality textiles, and traded for goods from the Mediterranean. So they were herders, farmers, weavers, traders.

But they also owned a lot of swords and spears, and had built a stockade around their village. Very few people in a Bronze Age society would be full-time warriors - they would be expected to defend themselves and their community when called upon, and take part in raids on other settlements. The village featured in the BBC documentary was ultimately destroyed by fire. It was possibly torched by rivals, but it's also likely that those who did so were not full-time warriors either, but perhaps fishermen, herders, farmers who wanted to consolidate their territory. Violence was always an option.

RQG chargen reflects this, and I think that whilst it can be tempting to just roll up a warrior or noble with great martial skills, a party of humble farmers, herders, hunters etc is a) more colourful and interesting (why are they adventuring, why have they been chosen by their community/clan ring?), and b) allows for more of a character arc as they each become renowned for something other than their occupation (it also gives the GM some room to plan some 'low-level' style encounters before the adventurers build up their combat skills).

But RQG chargen allows quite a bit of flexibility in your initial starting skills too, so if you want a farmer who is both an Ernalda initiate and deadly with a sword from the outset, you can have one. It's largely up to your GM as to what opportunities there are to use your occupational non-combat skills in-game, but you can also use them for augments and they will be important in determining your annual income.

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3 hours ago, Crel said:

This is the biggest thing to highlight. It depends a lot on the campaign. I really like the spread of occupational choices but, honestly, I really do think that the sub-optimal ones--like Farmer, Herder, Fisher, etc--can be risky.

Not if you have a campaign that is based around a stead struggling to survive. Those are the ones that are really needed, fighters and Adventurers aren't. I played in an excellent Greydog Freeform game where I played the chap who looked after the farmers and so on in a stead, while everyone else was off plotting against Lunars, broos and whatnot I was making sure the stead kept running and had an absolute blast.

 

3 hours ago, Crel said:

I run a pretty hack & slash campaign, and I feel like one of my players, who's playing a herder of the Bison Tribe (worshipping Waha) is frequently outshined by other party members, particularly because our game's quite combat-heavy (which I'm working on training them out of, a little, but that's taking time). Now I do think he's more amused by this than annoyed, and he ends up providing a sort of foil to the heroic warrior nonsense going about so it works for us.

Sure, in a hack and slash campaign, farmers who are not fighters are a liability in the Party and just wouldn't fit in.

 

3 hours ago, Crel said:

One of the other campaign-centric things to keep in mind is if you'll be playing centered on "keep my tula safe" as Shining and Jaja implied. I do feel like "adventurer" is an occupation (of sorts) in Glorantha, even if that's not the case in a majority of Gloranthas. In a campaign more centered on "we're adventurers doing stuff" those "everyday" occupations are, IMHO, likely to provide less fun.

Oh, absolutely.

If the clan chieftain wants to send someone on a dangerous mission, he's not going to send his Thanes, as they are far too important. Instead, he'll send Adventurers, as they'll do almost as good a job and who cares whether they get killed or not?

 

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6 hours ago, Crel said:

This is the biggest thing to highlight. It depends a lot on the campaign. I really like the spread of occupational choices but, honestly, I really do think that the sub-optimal ones--like Farmer, Herder, Fisher, etc--can be risky. I run a pretty hack & slash campaign, and I feel like one of my players, who's playing a herder of the Bison Tribe (worshipping Waha) is frequently outshined by other party members, particularly because our game's quite combat-heavy (which I'm working on training them out of, a little, but that's taking time). Now I do think he's more amused by this than annoyed, and he ends up providing a sort of foil to the heroic warrior nonsense going about so it works for us.

One of the other campaign-centric things to keep in mind is if you'll be playing centered on "keep my tula safe" as Shining and Jaja implied. I do feel like "adventurer" is an occupation (of sorts) in Glorantha, even if that's not the case in a majority of Gloranthas. In a campaign more centered on "we're adventurers doing stuff" those "everyday" occupations are, IMHO, likely to provide less fun.

I've played in a test run of Ian Cooper's Dragonrise scenario (admittedly HeroQuest rather than RuneQuest), and what made my character shine was his herder background when fighting our way past Oxbow and neighboring bullish constellations on Umath's (accelerated) Trail to the Celestial City (which he never reached, unlike his son, who later turned out to be its greatest defender against the Sky Terror).

In heroquesting, these farming skills may be more valuable than brute swordsmanship.

Free farmers used to be quite badass fighters. As late as the year 1500 saw the free farmers of Ditmarsia defeat a royal elite army of the Danish king at Hemmingstedt more than ten times their number (bogging them down after opening the dams of the nearby Miele creek). Likewise, the Swiss pike formation was born from free farmers standing up to oppressive feudal landlords. Only the farmer uprisings in Svabia during the Reformation were military failures, but that may be because those farmers really were unequipped serfs.

Then there is the term "buying the farm" that apparently was coined in the US military but wouldn't be out of place for a Roman veteran trying his hand at growing cabbages after his term of 20 years of service. While not that common in clan-based societies, the imperial outskirts would regularly be re-settled with veterans receiving some land (often with tenants) as their severance bonus. Wulfsland used to be such a place.

Do we have any info on what happened to Wulfsland after the Dragonrise? Would the Maboder-born wives of some of the retirees or their sons remain on those lands after the duke disappeared at the Dragonrise? Or did the Telmori do the job of clearing that place of their Lunar and Orlanthi foes?

 

I suppose that between Sacred Time household rolls and adventuring, the skil sets between fighters and farmer/herders would become fairly similar after a while as experience checks get diminishing rewards as the skills reach expert levels but are way more likely to result in improvement while in the "just competent" range.

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Your responses pretty much sum up what attracts me to this game and why I would rather play Runequest than any other heroic game right now. What good is hero-ing if there is nothing wholesome at stake?

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The other thing to bear in mind is that in Bronze Age societies, cattle = treasure/prestige. The Tain Bo Cualinge is all about wanting to capture prize bulls from another tribe. There are cattle raids in the Mahabharata, and Hermes stole cows from Apollo. The sacrifice of cattle is a way of appeasing the gods - the Greeks would slaughter them by the hecatomb in propitiation.

So in many respects farmers/herders are custodians of their clan's physical wealth and spiritual capital. Which is probably why three of the RQG scenarios published to date involve protecting or finding cattle or herders - Broken Tower, Cattle Raid, Dragon of the Thunder Hills (kind of). If players come to understand how important cattle are to their clan they'll be less likely to look down on the idea of playing a farmer or herder.

Other occupations seed adventures too - perhaps a fisher catches more in his nets than he bargained for, or is invited to compete in an interclan spear tournament that becomes a hotbed of political skulduggery, or is asked by a shaman to catch an exotic river-creature seen in dreams. Similarly, a hunter will always be the first person summoned to assist in tracking bandits, following the trail of a murderer or figuring out what kind of monsters attacked a massacred caravan.

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10 hours ago, soltakss said:

...

Oh, absolutely.

If the clan chieftain wants to send someone on a dangerous mission, he's not going to send his Thanes, as they are far too important. Instead, he'll send Adventurers, as they'll do almost as good a job and who cares whether they get killed or not?

 

Ah, I see, Adventurers are the Redshirts of Glorantha ... 😉

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Admitting that you consider yourself an 'adventurer' may in some societies mark you as an undesirable. A subversive egoist who cannot be relied upon when his neighbours and family need him. Adventures happen to regular people as well as glory-hunters.

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18 hours ago, Crel said:

My favorite moment involving this: my players were planning how to defend a village from an oncoming raid by trolls. So the herder hides in the sheep corral, and when the trollkin charge the villagers + adventurers, he used Herd (and his Praxian hound) to stampede the sheep from their flank, breaking the charge.

Minor spoiler ahead for Broken Tower.

 

 

Hmm, perhaps a herder could have been advantageous in the Broken Tower

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2 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Minor spoiler ahead for Broken Tower.

 

 

Hmm, perhaps a herder could have been advantageous in the Broken Tower

Gods damn it!!! I'll never be able to read that now!!!!!!!

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On 5/13/2019 at 8:15 AM, Bill the barbarian said:

and forget about seeing the Titanic the Boat sinks and (horrors) Celine Dion sings a song

But also gets her kit off, so a spoiler that might be useful.

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I had a bit of a look into doing an Ernaldan Heavy Infantrywoman and it's actually not a terrible choice. Although Ernalda doesn't have any super dramatic combat spells, you get access to lots of good spells from associated cults, like Shield, Earth Shield and Impede Chaos, as well as a lot of defensive/support spells. You also get Befuddle, Ignite and Demoralise, which are all very useful in a combat situation, and can learn Bladesharp from associated cults. And if that's not enough just get a pet giant snake or Earth Elemental and then you're in the business.

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6 minutes ago, Wrestlepig said:

I had a bit of a look into doing an Ernaldan Heavy Infantrywoman and it's actually not a terrible choice. Although Ernalda doesn't have any super dramatic combat spells, you get access to lots of good spells from associated cults, like Shield, Earth Shield and Impede Chaos, as well as a lot of defensive/support spells. You also get Befuddle, Ignite and Demoralise, which are all very useful in a combat situation, and can learn Bladesharp from associated cults. And if that's not enough just get a pet giant snake or Earth Elemental and then you're in the business.

Sweet, more proof that if any was needed; that while min/maxing stats can be fun, a character with depth in personalty and beliefs and min/maxed* for MGF instead can be just as cool. I can think of no reason not to do this and blow a stereotype of two out of the water, or just have fun should your sights be set a little lower,

  Thanx Wrestlepig.

* or not; perhaps created according to a plan, or created to explore more nuances of Glorantha, or...

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3 hours ago, Bill the barbarian said:

Sweet, more proof that if any was needed; that while min/maxing stats can be fun, a character with depth in personalty and beliefs and min/maxed* for MGF instead can be just as cool. I can think of no reason not to do this and blow a stereotype of two out of the water, or just have fun should your sights be set a little lower,

  Thanx Wrestlepig.

* or not; perhaps created according to a plan, or created to explore more nuances of Glorantha, or...

It's more that this is just a workable choice, I'd be saying different things if it was Eirithia or Engizi.

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EVERY Orlanthi male, and no few women, are fyrdmen [the clan defensive militia]. Unless a man is an initiate of Chalanna Arroy [or a similar pacifistic deity], he is expected to help defend his hearth and home, tula, and temple [ANY temple in the clan's worship scheme] with his blood and his blade. And even the pacifists are expected to lend aid in an emergency by seeing to the wounded or casting defensive spells.

Male Ernalda Initiates are directed to the Barntar the Plowman cult in a similar way that Orlanthi warrior women are directed to Vinga the Adventuress, so the cult does have a place for you. It would be hard to feed a clan if the Earth Mother didn't have a place for men! And being an Ernalda cultist isn't a bad thing; it offers a range of spells that are not normally seen in a warband or military company. Imagine being the only warrior in your warband with access to the Heal Body spell.... Perhaps your warrior is a man who would much rather be at the plow and caring for a steading instead of sleeping wet-assed in woods on some patrol or with a mercenary company, but his life just didn't work out that way. He wouldn't be the first warrior in Dragon Pass with that kind of past.

Remember the movie Zulu, where the great big, taciturn farmer boy risked his life to attend to a newborn calf? Kinda like that...

Edited by svensson
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14 hours ago, Wrestlepig said:

You also get Befuddle, Ignite and Demoralise, which are all very useful in a combat situation, and can learn Bladesharp from associated cults

You realise that it's not a matter of "you also get", it's just that those spells are offered by the cult to initiates for reduced prices (sometimes free). You don't need to go to an Associate Cult to get Bladesharp, but it's probably more convenient.

Most cults will allow you to use and purchase most (spirit) spells from somewhere (Chalana Arroy being a really obvious example of cult that's not so liberal) - even from shamans.

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7 hours ago, Shiningbrow said:

Celine Dion gets her kit off in the Titanic???

Oh, no, it's the other one, the one who doesn't sing, the one who is actually in the film. It's ages since I watched it.

Edited by soltakss

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