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klecser

Practical Elder Race Play Questions

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I dunno... I tend to play Humakti because I LOVE to roll a ton of dice and hit stuff real real hard. I would suggest if someone wants to play a BADASS front-line fighter they go for a Human Humakti/Babeester Gor or a Troll from a number of martial cults. Ducks live in Dragon Pass. They fight the undead in the swamps constantly and hold their own against their Orlanthi neighbors and rivals in both cattle raids and battle engagements. Just because ducks are not as great at taking a hit directly or they might deal a d6 less damage than a human they can still fling lightning at dudes, they can still Truesword, berserk, or any of the other tools available to the Orlanthi and the Lightbringers. A Duck Trickster with Strike fucks just about ANYONE up. Not to mention Shattering is freaking amazing. With Multispell back, I played RQ3, a duck posse can all multispell 3 and diruption a squad for 3d3 a piece. Literally shotgun people to death with spirit lasers from the bushes or the swamps. Just gotta get creative if you are a small scrappy duck. It isn't the stroll in and smack stuff of the bigger, smashier races and their Rune-Lords. 

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2 hours ago, klecser said:

Thanks David. What I'm thinking of though: is it WISE to play a front line fighter, as a Duck? You can. I understand that. What I fear is that one of my players makes an uninformed choice and walks up and gets smacked when I can do pre work to help them recognize a pitfall.

If playing to advantage, rather than disadvantage one might consider what advantage a non human race has over a human character. The biggest advantage , I would think, would be to plot as a device, that is a  mirror to reveal humanity to itself

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1 hour ago, klecser said:

Bill, I don't have a problem with it personally. But I know a LOT of min-maxers. Like, a ton. I don't AGREE with it. But I've dealt with it enough that I now PREP for it for any game. An ounce of prevention...you know how the saying goes. 

 

Good call, prep is a large fraction of a job! 

The rest of your message answers any questions I might have there

1 hour ago, klecser said:

These questions are the questions people WILL ask. Somebody is going to say to me: "Why should I play a Duck when a Duck has X disadvantages?" That mentality is SAD, but it is real. If you play with people who don't ask these questions, you are fortunate. But I sometimes do play with those types of players, and asking these questions in advance helps to avoid a lot of the issues. This is why my friends and I 1) built our own Con and 2) stopped going to Cons. It was wall-to-wall people criticizing us at tables for building sub-optimal characters. And its part of what drove me to CoC and RQG. So, trust me, this has a happy ending.

 

Well I hoped I was able to help then

 

1 hour ago, klecser said:

Does this make me needlessly hypersensitive to something that should be a non-issue? Absolutely.

No it does not, well maybe.... But I understand. Thanks for the explanation, and with all that said I hope my answers will assist. Now you see why it took me about a month to answer, Touchy subject, no?

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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7 minutes ago, Bill the barbarian said:

If playing to advantage, rather than disadvantage one might consider what advantage a non human race has over a human character. The biggest advantage , I would think, would be to plot as a device, that is a  mirror to reveal humanity to itself

I can think of lots of advantages to playing a Duck: Access to potential allies of another culture, access to culturally unique magic, role-playing opportunities, underestimation as strategy/tactics.

Creativity isn't a problem for me. It is for some role-players, ironically. But that is why a GM has to know a world well enough to be able to SUGGEST things. That's the point here. It isn't about what my players can/cannot do. It's me learning what I need to learn to model for them what might be possible. 

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24 minutes ago, HreshtIronBorne said:

Literally a whole group of them. Though such groups tend to have a 'Shelf Life' so to speak.

Attacked by a murder of death drakes... oooo ouch, ooo, hey cut that out...

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More seriously... Ducks have long occupied a sort of fragile place in Gloranthan gameplay.

Partly a Grim Death-Rune species, born to kill.

Partly Donald-and-Howard-and-Daffy:  comic relief, occasional character more than a regular, 1970's-RPG-weird, etc.  With Orange Sauce.

Partly a tragic, warped folk:  ducks who cannot fly (n.b. ducks are actually amazingly powerful flyers in the RW, so the Durulz are even more accursed than it first appears).

I aim for doing all 3, ideally.

The Durulz know that others see them as silly and pathetic... and yet the Death Rune sings its dirge within them, and they see those others as fundamentally frivolous, flawed... dying.  It can make a duck grumpy, it can!  Specially on a nice day for a fly over to the next river  BUT OH WAIT, NO, I CAN'T, CAN I?!!!  So, DeathRune, plus kinda pissed at the world, plus they ARE a minmaxer's nightmare, so whatcha gonna do?

As others have noted -- it's really more a choice for a Roleplay-centric player, someone who will relish the conflicts and dichotomies.

I don't see any reason to even TRY to sell the "Death Drake" concept to a player who puts MinMax character design in his top-3 RPG priorities.

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4 minutes ago, g33k said:

I don't see any reason to even TRY to sell the "Death Drake" concept to a player who puts MinMax character design in his top-3 RPG priorities.

Correct, send 'em to Orlanth, or human  Humakt temples or Yelmalio (if they can take the heat)!

Edited by Bill the barbarian
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Less seriously:  what do you call a Durulz spy?

 

 

 

 

Peeking Duck!

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10 minutes ago, g33k said:

More seriously... Ducks have long occupied a sort of fragile place in Gloranthan gameplay.

Partly a Grim Death-Rune species, born to kill.

Partly Donald-and-Howard-and-Daffy:  comic relief, occasional character more than a regular, 1970's-RPG-weird, etc.  With Orange Sauce.

Partly a tragic, warped folk:  ducks who cannot fly (n.b. ducks are actually amazingly powerful flyers in the RW, so the Durulz are even more accursed than it first appears).

If I had the opportunity to play RQG, I would play a very interesting "serious" Duck that would stretch the lore to its furthest. Alas, I am the Forever GM of my group. ;)

Edited by klecser

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Just now, klecser said:

If I had the opportunity to play RQG, I would pay a very interesting "serious" Duck that would stretch the lore to its furthest. Alas, I am the Forever GM of my group. ;)

I am the "mostly" GM, but the ONLY one for RQ/Glorantha.  We'll see if it takes fire in my group, and others become willing to GM it.

As the GM, I am designing the concept/backstory for a Duck NPC who I hope becomes a recurring sometime-ally / sometime-rival.  Lunarized duck, sometime follower of Jar-Eel, now estranged from the Empire.

Just because I'm the GM, doesn't mean I can't make interesting characters to explore!  I just need to take care not to MarySue them.

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12 minutes ago, klecser said:

If I had the opportunity to play RQG, I would play a very interesting "serious" Duck that would stretch the lore to its furthest. Alas, I am the Forever GM of my group. ;)

That's what Glorantha-themed conventions or online or play by forum gaming is for.

The group dynamic role of the duck can as easily be taken by a trollkin, a newtling (with a point or two of dragonewt magic?), a magisaur, a satyr or fox woman or a wind child - a glass cannon character with the magic up, and cannon fodder without it. Or in Prax, by a baboon or a morokanth.

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The system has told me that I ran out of my react allowance for today. LOL. So, anyone who contributed, it is appreciated.

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11 hours ago, klecser said:

How do you make a Duck "shine" in RQG? 

Lacquer. Or oil like the gladiators used to. I'd suggest Glamour or Charisma might also, as well as Shimmer, obviously.

Beijing roast duck, and Cantonese crispy skin duck also shine..  

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It's been said before, but maybe not stressed enough... One PC non-human is easily doable. Multiple from different races isn't likely to last long as a campaign. There is, after all, a good reason everyone isn't all living in harmony. The "common enemy", IMHO, gets boring pretty quick... And doesn't justify a long existence for the group.

 

But... IIRC, the Wooden Sword had to be returned to the elves to be used properly. So, there is Humakt - a cult that can be worshipped by humans, ducks, elves, and the rare troll. If Humakt gave them all a mission, they'd be forced to work together (but probably not happily). We could also argue that joining Humakt not only severs family and cult ties, but also racial.

The PCs could be the beginning of an attempt to reform the Elder Council. (Could just be a vision they've all shared)

Something has gone wrong with Dragonewt reincarnation, and their souls are ending up in strange bodies..  and worse, taking on weird personality defects.

Or, similarly, Belintar's soul has fractured into these different PCs.

A Trickster told a Lie to them that they were all good friends (in the middle of a 5-way battle over a sacred/magical object??)

Fate has played a tricksy hand... They'd all sworn a weird oath (along the lines of "the next person who...") and has twisted them together. (Sort of like the Witcher's unexpected surprise thing).

 

The bigger question will be... Can the players RP it properly? In LotR, the dwarves and elves were supposed to have this serious mistrust and almost hatred of each other. Certainly continual suspicion. However, Legolas and Gimli were really boring. I.e., they didn't play their characters well. (Reminds me of Star Trek and other scI-fi with similar plots). Or D&D, where Paladins happily hang around with the CE assassin, long after they should....

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19 minutes ago, Shiningbrow said:

But... IIRC, the Wooden Sword had to be returned to the elves to be used properly. So, there is Humakt - a cult that can be worshipped by humans, ducks, elves, and the rare troll. If Humakt gave them all a mission, they'd be forced to work together (but probably not happily). We could also argue that joining Humakt not only severs family and cult ties, but also racial.

 

Good call.

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15 hours ago, Joerg said:

Merfolk are difficult to integrate into any land-based adventuring. A predominantly coastal/high seas game can have them,

In the East Isles game that I have planned, but have yet to run, any merman PC will get access to 'the Wave that Walks', a 1m3 elemental whose purpose is to act as a sort of wheelchair type assistance for merfolk getting about on land. Of course, you'd want to avoid getting into melee combat - it is fairly fragile. 

15 hours ago, Joerg said:

Dragonewts as player characters will probably produce rather variant Gloranthan experiences.

I wouldn't recommend anything but a Crested Dragonnewt as a PC.

Ducks are actually very easy - for the most part they have much the same culture as the humans they live among, so they are someone from another clan who happens to be a funny shape as well. This also works for keets in the East Isles. 

Any of the main three elder races can work easily - give them a reason to leave their community, a reason to cooperate with the party, and you are away. Even quite a mixed party, with several from the one elder race works well, or even an entire party is so inclined. But mixed elder races are much harder to justify unless the same explanation for their presence is also the games main theme. 

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2 hours ago, davecake said:

I wouldn't recommend anything but a Crested Dragonnewt as a PC.

I'd say go full Magisaur instead. Dragonewts are basically designed to be unplayable.Image result for magisaur glorantha

Edited by Akhôrahil
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I've GM'd a mixed-species party in RQG for about eight, nine months now, and have some insights. I should emphasize first that our milieu treats RQ more like a "game" than an "improvised drama." Players are in character and think about character decisions, but there's a moderate-to-fair amount of min-maxing in my group. I'd like to note that for most players I've encountered with this attitude, the approach isn't "hurr durr optimal decisions only" but more "What cool stuff can I do, and what options inhibit me from doing cool stuff?"

Our campaign has, to date, involved the following non-human adventurers: a baboon, a morokanth, two dark trolls, two trollkin of the Food caste (same player each time--he chose the caste too), and briefly a newtling.

Morokanth are an extremely "strong" choice, with their 4AP hide. A morokanth adventurer with close connections to the human world could get some wicked combat tankiness from metal armor.

Dark trolls are also a very strong choice, although more dependent on the occupation chosen. The troll Noble and Priestess occupations clearly outstrip human occupation choices. Darksense is massively useful even above and beyond D&D's darkvision. You can soft-nerf it a teeny bit by relying on non-visual descriptions--I usually describe the ability to my players in terms of smell+echolocation--but I'd not push too hard on that, or else it becomes unbelievable that trolls use it as their main means of perception.

Baboons are interesting. Being able to climb stuff is very good, provided the player keeps it in mind and is creative.

I didn't see enough of the newtling in play to really get a good grip on it, but I think it's viable. Like a duck, the species is going to struggle to be big and tough, but unlike a duck IIRC they are amphibians and can breathe both water and air. I suspect both ducks and newtlings shine the most depending on the environment adventures take place in; if two out of every three adventures takes place in the Zola Fel river valley, I'm sure they'll come in handy.

I encourage each group to try having trollkin in the party, at least once. It's... an experience. Our current trollkin is effectively the Issaries merchant's pet because he keeps feeding him table scraps and just barely being useful. And of course, an excellent reason for any trollkin to be partied up with human adventurers is that they won't eat him. Probably. Pluses for trollkin are Darksense and a point of AP.

Something to note with many nonhuman adventurers is their bonus AP. Not all have it, but for those which do it definitely makes a difference. An average sword strike by slightly strong human (1D8+1+1D4) on average deals 7 damage. This could nearly or entirely incapacitate a limb on a human wearing decent (4 or 5AP) armor, but deal no HP damage at all to a nonhuman wearing the same armor. Several also have increased STR or SIZ, leading to a higher Damage Bonus; but in my games I've found this causes less impact than increased AP.

For playing a dragonewt, I suggest Crested as well, and that the adventurer is a dragonewt which has fallen off the draconic path or whatever, and is basically outside dragonewt culture. Cut them off from reincarnation, basically playing a D&D dragonborn with a weirder cultural history. IIRC the other basic stuff for a Crested Dragonewt isn't over the top, though you'd have to make up occupations.

I recommend against playing a Mostali. I don't think the Bestiary entry is comprehensive enough to play one, largely because the occupations have many undefined skills (and in some cases, substantially stronger gear, like the Iron Dwarf's iron chainmail and helm, which could cause a good bit of envy at the table). In addition, their POW-devouring custom sorcery feels lackluster, and I suspect mechanics-inclined players would be disheartened by it.

I don't have experience with aldryami, but I like many of the suggestions in this thread (particularly the "go plant special seeds everywhere" hook...). My gut says that Aldryami are basically playable along with Uzko, whereas Mostali are not.

On interspecies tensions, my campaign revolves around New Pavis and what nonsense Argrath's getting up to in 1625/6. This provides a framework in which adventurers of all backgrounds & species can meld together because he's a wackjob and actively pursues building an eclectic following. We've experienced few interspecies tensions beyond threats of eating the trollkin (and indeed, eating random things has become something of an in-group meme for this campaign...)

In particular, it seems to me that trolls and humans are broadly compatible in ways that some other species combos aren't. After all, many of them just want somewhere to bed down, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy some sex. They're weird to one another, but their basic desires are similar in a way that the desires between humans and Aldryami, for example, aren't.

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29 minutes ago, Crel said:

I encourage each group to try having trollkin in the party, at least once. It's... an experience. Our current trollkin is effectively the Issaries merchant's pet because he keeps feeding him table scraps and just barely being useful. And of course, an excellent reason for any trollkin to be partied up with human adventurers is that they won't eat him. Probably. Pluses for trollkin are Darksense and a point of AP.

 

Hilarious!

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38 minutes ago, Crel said:

In particular, it seems to me that trolls and humans are broadly compatible in ways that some other species combos aren't. After all, many of them just want somewhere to bed down, grab a bite to eat, and enjoy some sex. They're weird to one another, but their basic desires are similar in a way that the desires between humans and Aldryami, for example, aren't.

Don't knock it 'til you've tried it

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1 minute ago, albinoboo said:

Wait until you find out why they call them Mistress Race trolls

Of course!  They're almost exactly like E.G.G. "Drow," but just a bit... more.

 

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19 hours ago, Akhôrahil said:

Dragonewts are basically designed to be unplayable.

There were rules for playing Dragonnewts back in Wyrms Footprints 14 in 1982. It isn't for everyones game for sure, but it was doable - though it relied on Pendragon style personality traits. 

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Being in the same cult is reason enough for me.

Yelmalio elves, Orlanthi trolls, Stormbull morokanth etc.

Joined by a heroquest. Secret is not to over think it.

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