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We are prepping to run through the Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes. But, I really want to know where to learn more about the Lunars. From what I've gathered, the Lunars would be a ton of fun to play.

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The only Lunar cult that we have a write-up for is the provinicial, proselytizing amalgam cult of the Seven Mothers, which is probably the most common cult in Lunar Tarsh (including the holdings of Fazzur Wideread and his family), and fairly common elsewhere in the provinces (although there you will have Hwarin Dalthippa, too).

 

The Lunar way has been overlaid over a plethora of Pelorian cultures, including the Provincial Orlanthi, and creates a lot of co-religionist groups with a quite divergent background. The Lunar Empire itself is the successor to the Dara Happan Empire, which had been conquered by the Carmanian Empire (to which the Lunar Empire is the successor, too, although it took almost a century to make that claim solid).

Pelorian history has seen numerous types of military overlords being absorbed into the Dara Happan imperial structure over time, with dynasties along the upper Oslir descended from Beast Rider invaders in the Dawn Age gone native. Add a layer of Lunar religion to such diverse folk, and you will get lots of different motivations and cultural ballast to create very divergent though thoroughly Lunar characters.

 

During which era do you want to play the Lunars? It could be a strenuous sort of fun to play Lunar occupation forces throughout the Fimbulwinter and the subsequent simmering rebellion up to the Dragonrise, for which your Lunar player characters' best chance for survival is to be bound up in some activity away from the temple dedication site. Unless you and your players are okay with a clear cut (or rather bite) to end that campaign arc, you should avoid playing through that event on site

S:KoH does present its scenarios from an anti-Lunar, rebellious PoV in the Colymar Tribe. During that period, there are pro-Lunar Colymar tribesfolk or even imperial Lunar colonists (in the slave manors) in the region, but given Ernalsulva's goal to return her father from the Lunar Hell and to gather support for a rebellion, a party of Lunar adventurerers inside the Colymar tribe is unlikely to be approached by her.

A sufficiently motivated rival of either Fazzur or Tatius (ideally both) with Imperial Lunar background might be willing to support a Sartarite band of heroquesters to thwart the powers that be in the occupation administration to further their own goals, but that is a quite weak way to insert a strong Lunar element into the marriage preparation hero band

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1 hour ago, Joerg said:

During which era do you want to play the Lunars?

I know very little about Glorantha. I have a couple of books from MRQ2, but I don't think I've read them completely. It's a setting I really like, and I really want to share with people I know, but I only know some very disconnected anecdotal things. I don't have the same depth of knowledge as I do a setting I've experienced (through media) such as Star Trek, or Middle Earth. I'd really be interested in some proper narrative fiction to absorb some of this.

Overall it just seems like the Lunars are a people that I can more readily understand. The Orlanthi are very different than my own culture and I don't want to end up making a caricature of what could otherwise be a multidimensional character.

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3 hours ago, Tinkgineer said:

Overall it just seems like the Lunars are a people that I can more readily understand. The Orlanthi are very different than my own culture and I don't want to end up making a caricature of what could otherwise be a multidimensional character.

Best sources for Lunars are: Glorantha Sourcebook (includes the whole history of the Lunar Empire, including summary of the Lunar deities), Pavis: Gateway to Adventure (HQG book which includes the Seven Mothers cult writeup and also gives you a sense of the Lunars occupying the distant Pavis outpost).  You might also enjoy reading through Greg Stafford's Lives of Sedenya (aka Red Goddess) in the online Rule One fanzine starting here: Lives of Sedenya

There will be more Lunar cult writeups coming with the RQG Gods of Glorantha text, but that is not yet available (and timeframe not yet announced).

I ran an RQ3 campaign for years set in the Lunar Empire and always had a preference/interest in that material.

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I’m not sure you can find them easily nowadays, but the Moon Design version of Heroquest (~10 years ago) had the Imperial Lunar Handbook Volume 1 (about the Empire itself) and Volume 2 (gods/mythology).  Moon Design also put out Champions of the Reaching Moon (Lunar hero bands who could be adversaries or allies).

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9 hours ago, Nebuchadnezzar said:

I’m not sure you can find them easily nowadays, but the Moon Design version of Heroquest (~10 years ago) had the Imperial Lunar Handbook Volume 1 (about the Empire itself) and Volume 2 (gods/mythology).  Moon Design also put out Champions of the Reaching Moon (Lunar hero bands who could be adversaries or allies).

I would generally avoid these as they really took tangents into "micro" gods not reflected elsewhere, or how I can put popular modern movies into Glorantha (e.g. let's have an Indiana Jones-based Lunar hero band).

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On 6/1/2019 at 6:51 AM, Nebuchadnezzar said:

I’m not sure you can find them easily nowadays, but the Moon Design version of Heroquest (~10 years ago) had the Imperial Lunar Handbook Volume 1 (about the Empire itself) and Volume 2 (gods/mythology)

Even if these are not canon and the forementioned problems these books are available as pdf for example here:

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/50025/HeroQuest-ILH1--Imperial-Lunar-Handbook-v1

https://www.drivethrurpg.com/product/50027/HeroQuest-ILH2--Imperial-Lunar-Handbook-v2

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Ah, didn’t realize they weren’t canon.  

Regardless, some of the content is too good to pass up - the Turzah Hounders from Champions of the Reaching Moon will definitely be appearing in my campaign.  If Bundalini’s skeleton band can have a role, so can a military unit led by a man who completed the Molossiad heroquest (which as far as I can tell is the mythic equivalent of a dog biting the mailman).

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On 5/31/2019 at 6:28 PM, Tinkgineer said:

We are prepping to run through the Sartar: Kingdom of Heroes. But, I really want to know where to learn more about the Lunars. From what I've gathered, the Lunars would be a ton of fun to play.

They can be good fun to play.

Lunars have gone through several incarnations over the years. For me, some of the ways of doing Lunar Magic is completely unusable, so I ignore them.

What I do is to treat Lunar cults the same as other Cults. So, they general cult is the Seven Mothers, which is a catchall umbrella cult "Isn't the Lunar Way great? We can do anything". Many of the individual Seven Mothers are analogues of other Cults, so Yanafal Tarnils is like Humakt, Irrippi Ontor is like Lhankor Mhy and Queen Deezola is like Ernalda, so you can have them as fully-fledged cults performing similar deeds. Etyries is like Issaries, although not one of the Seven Mothers. Hero cults such as the Conquering Daughter, Hon Eel or Yara Aranis can be worshipped for special powers. The Young Elementals provide a lot of elemental magic to all the Lunar Cults, which is a big advantage. The Red Goddess cult is for Lunar Mystics and the Red Emperor cult is for Lunar Nobles. 

Above all, the Lunars accept Chaos as an integral part of Glorantha. This doesn't mean that all Lunars are Chaotic Monstrosities, but does mean that they can accept Chaotic Magic or use some magic and allies that would be seen as odd by other Cults. A lot of Lunars are Illuminated, because the Red Goddess met Nysalor and became Illuminated, then found her own way.

So, you could play Lunar soldiers, scholars, traders, Sable Riders, healers, mystics or whatever. 

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The Seven Mothers cult is what you really need, and other Lunar cults can more or less be extrapolated from there if all you need is Lunars as antagonists. There are two versions, the one in HeroQuest Glorantha and the one in the HQ Pavis book, Pavis:GtA, which I heartily recommend to anyone running a HeroQuest game anyway (after S:KoH and the Sartar Companion for a Sartar based game). 

The big differences in game are that Lunars do not normally get Feats, but are sometimes able to use their Lunar ability for a range of other abilities - magic normally associated with other Runes, or even different forms of magic (eg an Irripi Ontor might be able to use their Moon Rune for Truth or Illusion magic, and might have both sorcery and divine abilities). Much more detail in the 7M writeup.

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On 6/3/2019 at 10:20 AM, Nebuchadnezzar said:

Ah, didn’t realize they weren’t canon.  

Regardless, some of the content is too good to pass up - the Turzah Hounders from Champions of the Reaching Moon will definitely be appearing in my campaign.  If Bundalini’s skeleton band can have a role, so can a military unit led by a man who completed the Molossiad heroquest (which as far as I can tell is the mythic equivalent of a dog biting the mailman).

Too many fans care way to much about canon. Those books have some great fun stuff. Take what you want and run with it. Ignore canon. It's a false god.

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56 minutes ago, AndreasDavour said:

Too many fans care way to much about canon. Those books have some great fun stuff. Take what you want and run with it. Ignore canon. It's a false god.

My approach to canon varies with my prospensity to play a long campaign in the setting. The longer the campaign, the more will deviations from canon make your life difficult if you rely on future publications.

For the Lunar Empire, there is too little backward canon available. The association in Champions of the Red Moon didn't quite work for me as a whole, although I will surely continue to draw inspiration from various sections inside.

What I would want to play in the Lunar Empire:

- descriptions of the normal people, their religious practices (including those where they are led by ambitious nobles to provide magical support for some great project or dart competition scheme) for a number of typical subcultures. (Not necessarily all at once... I'll deal with Orlanthi variant cultures on a case by case basis, too.)

- two rivaling houses embroiled in a Dart Competition, with their networks each, rather than just one, possibly more - the Game of Thrones audience managed to track five contenders for the Iron Throne. I guess it is fine to start with a mediocre house that may rise to a major supporter on satrapial dart competitions, and possibly receive recognition over the dead bodies of some other houses. That could include a superior house each, also at odds with one another, at least on some significant topic that involves the player houses.

Since Dart Competitions are civilized guerilla warfare, they may aim at basic or specific production or transport of food, trade goods, and military/magical/special supplies. Some sort of basic economy game might be useful to model such warfare. At the same time, Dart Competitions may dig deeply into the mythic realms and target core myths of the Lunar Way or at least the ancestral myths defining those houses.

Finally, there could be a Silver Shadow campaign full of Lunar mystical weirdness and intrigue, continuing on the Red Moon (while it is still available as a stage).

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On 6/1/2019 at 2:41 PM, jajagappa said:

I would generally avoid these as they really took tangents into "micro" gods not reflected elsewhere, or how I can put popular modern movies into Glorantha (e.g. let's have an Indiana Jones-based Lunar hero band).

For now they are what we have, so I would be pragmatic. And Greg was involved heavily in both of them. I would look at the Seven Mothers Cult write up in HQG, as well as the version in P:GtA if you have it to understand how Lunar Magic works. ILH-1 has been heavily superseded by The Guide. but might still give you inspiration. The material on the Lunar Way, Sevening etc in ILH-2 is all straight from Greg, and so ought to be reflected in new material. The main issue is the plethora of cults, there are way too many. Stick to the larger cults though and you may well get something playable out of it.

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