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Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

I must have been born without the gene that makes you enthusiastic about Glorantha. :shrug:

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Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007



Simian_Prime posted:

I must have been born without the gene that makes you enthusiastic about Glorantha. :shrug:

You're not the only one. For some reason ny eyes just glaze over whenever I see posts containing the words "Orlanth", "Lunar Empire" or "Dragon Pass". It's mostly safe to skip the next couple of posts as well, because they're usually by people incredibly mad or enthusiastic about the concept of Bronze Age Donald Duck. :v:

Foglet
Jun 17, 2014

Reality is an illusion.
The universe is a hologram.
Buy gold.


I do have eyes for Glorantha, yet its latest tabletop incarnation (the recent 13th Age one) left me really disappointed.

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



In case you're wondering, ducks aren't really important? Like, they're in the bestiary section with the other nonhuman races, but that's it.

Foglet
Jun 17, 2014

Reality is an illusion.
The universe is a hologram.
Buy gold.


Wapole Languray posted:

In case you're wondering, ducks aren't really important? Like, they're in the bestiary section with the other nonhuman races, but that's it.

Well, in the 13A adaptation mentioned above they are one of the three proposed playable species and one of the two proposed playable non-human types, the other choice being trolls. While elves, dwarves (or what goes under these names in Glorantha, rather) or non-Dragon Pass cultures are pretty much down to an offhanded mention.

I mean, I personally consider that badass undead-hunting battle-scarred waterfowl totally rule, so I don't mind them being presented as playable, but the notion that they are out of focus is kinda debatable.

Foglet fucked around with this message at 06:02 on Mar 1, 2018

Mr. Maltose
Feb 16, 2011

The Guffless Girlverine


Yeah, the 13th Age adaption is really, really, REALLY focused on Dragon Pass so having ducks be playable makes sense, but in the grand scheme of things they're not really all that important.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




Dragon Pass is the most important place in the world, but it's not the only place in the world. I want to see more modern Loskalm stuff but it'll never happen.

Rand Brittain
Mar 24, 2013

"Go on until you're stopped."

There are probably a lot of people at this point who are theoretically interested in Glorantha but are bored to tears with the Orlanthi/Lunar conflict, especially since it nearly always focuses on the Orlanthi so that they're constantly getting all the attention, and they're just not that interesting.

It also means getting caught up in the Argrath metaplot, which is incredibly boring because, like all Glorantha metaplot, it's all basically resolved based on who pulls out some never-before-seen magic that nobody knew they could do until they suddenly did it.

Foglet
Jun 17, 2014

Reality is an illusion.
The universe is a hologram.
Buy gold.


Rand Brittain posted:

interested in Glorantha but are bored to tears with the Orlanthi/Lunar conflict

wiegieman posted:

I want to see more modern Loskalm stuff but it'll never happen.

Goodness gracious, "more of the modern stuff to be happening and opportunities for adventure elsewhere in the world BUT the Dragon Pass and its surroundings please" was the only thing I wanted from the Glorantha Sourcebook. The thing it turned out not to be, with pride.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





My primary issue with Glorantha is that it's a setting with only mythic history - every time there's a conqueror or a rebellion, it centers around vast magics and spells, god-sorcery and so on.

Which is true to the intent of Glorantha as I understand it, but also necessarily a huge difference from the bronze age history (or even the Hyborean Age Conan stories) which is what I want out of bronze age fantasy. The setting is so high fantasy that it doesn't seem to really see the ground, which is ironically an issue it shares with a lot of the most bog-standard Forgotten Realms type fantasy settings. It means that while there are many interesting societies, they don't actually change and develop in ways that even rhyme with Earth history, or follow even particularly similar mechanisms. The Lunar Empire in particular stands out - they're theoretically a conquering empire like the Assyrians or Akkadians, as I understand it, but they can besiege a city for a year and nobody notices, and they seem (based on the Prince of Sartar webcomic) to primarily rely on sorcery, and I have no sense of the apparatus of resource extraction or administration they use.

And then Heroquesting further cements that, as the actual events of history become the echoes of mythic archetypes.

Overall I just slide off Glorantha even though it looks very cool, because I can't find purchase.

U.T. Raptor
May 11, 2010

Are you a pack of imbeciles!?



Inescapable Duck posted:

Torg sounds a bit like Kingdom Hearts.
Story's not nearly convoluted and nonsensical enough for that.

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!


Glorantha is fun, even if I have no clue what I would do in it as a player.

Now, some King of Dragon Pass type shenanigans would be rad.

I think Rifts is, for me, the setting I'd love to play with a ruleset that I have no intention of touching. Torg Eternity seems to have the same kitchensinky approach and an actual good ruleset, so i can actually see myself playing it somewhere down the line.

Wish someone did that for 40K.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

I'm a lovely person who deserves to be happy!


Joe Slowboat posted:

My primary issue with Glorantha is that it's a setting with only mythic history - every time there's a conqueror or a rebellion, it centers around vast magics and spells, god-sorcery and so on.

Which is true to the intent of Glorantha as I understand it, but also necessarily a huge difference from the bronze age history (or even the Hyborean Age Conan stories) which is what I want out of bronze age fantasy. The setting is so high fantasy that it doesn't seem to really see the ground, which is ironically an issue it shares with a lot of the most bog-standard Forgotten Realms type fantasy settings. It means that while there are many interesting societies, they don't actually change and develop in ways that even rhyme with Earth history, or follow even particularly similar mechanisms. The Lunar Empire in particular stands out - they're theoretically a conquering empire like the Assyrians or Akkadians, as I understand it, but they can besiege a city for a year and nobody notices, and they seem (based on the Prince of Sartar webcomic) to primarily rely on sorcery, and I have no sense of the apparatus of resource extraction or administration they use.

And then Heroquesting further cements that, as the actual events of history become the echoes of mythic archetypes.

Overall I just slide off Glorantha even though it looks very cool, because I can't find purchase.

I mean they invented double entry book-keeping and have a very strong "normal" army as well as the more impressive magical battalions. It is simply that if you are doing very big and powerful things (kidnapping/murdering giant babies for instance) you bring out the big guns. The problem isn't that their army is rubbish (it isn't) but that their navy is. They have very little in the way of shipbuilding on the southern end of the empire and Nochet is so large that it can just be supplied via the sea, ignoring the giganto army nearby.

I mean their is change I just think it needs teasing out and edifying a bit more, especially as the expansion of various powers has stopped, reversed, turned back again and then established itself.

As for heroquesting. The idea is to gain power by emulating your diety and doing stuff they did, but what they don't tell you is that you bring a bit of yourself as well. I always run it that the quests change both you and the God just slightly. Things have mythic echoes, but that doesn't mean you have to get caught in eternal return.

I do get what people say about the focus, we could do with more stuff about, for instance, Ralios. But personally it is something I am looking into doing myself as a background book.

You can also just run it in different time periods, which is what I am doing with my current game, the Hero Wars are a long way off and people are just settling Dragon Pass.

Foglet
Jun 17, 2014

Reality is an illusion.
The universe is a hologram.
Buy gold.


Josef bugman posted:

You can also just run it in different time periods, which is what I am doing with my current game, the Hero Wars are a long way off and people are just settling Dragon Pass.
I must admit I'm not a great fan of the "here's a greatly extensive history of our setting, and you can select any previous period from it to play in" approach, even though Glorantha, with half a century of IRL development under its belt, is kinda sorta entwined with this point of view. It just... makes my hands as a GM feel tied in a way I don't want (see also: a certain word beginning with 'meta' and ending in 'plot'). Yeah, yeah, I know, most of the times it doesn't actually stand in the way of local personal adventures that such and such a war will be starting in ten years or more, but my point still stands.

Josef bugman posted:

But personally it is something I am looking into doing myself as a background book.
Wait, do we have one of the authors here?

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

My intro to Glorantha was basically all the street level poo poo like "We're telling Damon Runyon pastiches about street gangs in Pavis" and "Detective story in Notchet starring the world's greatest/only consulting detective" so I come into it from a very different angle. I mean sure, the original Pavis adventure book -ends- with the big cradle story, but it starts with 'party just arriving in town gets harassed by a street gang and if they react the way player characters do they get arrested and sentenced to public service.'

(And since they're mercenary adventurers the public service is 'go on a dungeon crawl')

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Foglet posted:

Well, in the 13A adaptation mentioned above they are one of the three proposed playable species and one of the two proposed playable non-human types, the other choice being trolls. While elves, dwarves (or what goes under these names in Glorantha, rather) or non-Dragon Pass cultures are pretty much down to an offhanded mention.

I mean, I personally consider that badass undead-hunting battle-scarred waterfowl totally rule, so I don't mind them being presented as playable, but the notion that they are out of focus is kinda debatable.

In fairness, that's because dwarves are essentially unplayable. Elves are still far less playable than trolls and ducks, which both act in recognizably person-like ways comparatively.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

This isn't really a Glorantha-specific issue, but in any setting I try to read I look for a, if not The, source of conflict within five minutes.

Like, "literally Ragnarok happens in the middle of WW2 and America kills the world-eating wyrm with a nuclear bomb to its skull and the corpse obliterates large swathes of the Earth and now the Cold War is over a globe-spanning serpentine carcass" is pretty easy to draw ideas from. With a lot of other books I'm usually left waiting for a long time before I see something that I could possibly have the players do as a session 1 adventure.

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

Foglet posted:

I do have eyes for Glorantha, yet its latest tabletop incarnation (the recent 13th Age one) left me really disappointed.

Thematically, 13th Age doesn’t seem like the best choice for a Glorantha game. Glorantha seems to be tailored to the kind of gamer that gets obsessed over deep worldbuilding lore, while 13th Age is tailored with a breezy tone and a DIY “play elfgames and don’t sweat the details over who rules what as long as it leads to cool adventures” aesthetic.

Foglet
Jun 17, 2014

Reality is an illusion.
The universe is a hologram.
Buy gold.


Mors Rattus posted:

In fairness, that's because dwarves are essentially unplayable. Elves are still far less playable than trolls and ducks, which both act in recognizably person-like ways comparatively.

While it's perfectly true that Aldryami and Mostali are... peculiar, to put it very mildly, I feel that the matter of their playability is more an issue of "when there's a will, there's a way". The Uz are permanently hungry human-eating creatures of literal darkness, averse to most forms of heat and light, which doesn't sound like "perfect candidates for a PC party" either, but as long as we want to make them available for players, there's a convenient loophole for that (the one about trolls not born as part of a litter not considered proper trolls among their kin), right?

Dwarven-human cooperation is not unprecedented in the setting. There are entire Dwarven schools of thought (considered to be radical heresy alright, and the experiments didn't end that well cause reasons, but that's beside the point) to make it happen. There were whole prosperous cities and regions built on the principle, so, again, not unheard of.

I just think it's somewhat self-defeating to die on the "oh, 99.9% of them are beep boop automatons hateful of anything which disrupts the Proper Order of their existence" hill. Most of dark trolls aren't proper adventurer material either. I suspect the same goes for humans, for that matter. There were hundred-page guidebooks on Dwarves and Elves and freaking Dragonewts, there totally is enough ground for get-out clauses and edge cases, it's not like there's nothing to work with.

Simian_Prime posted:

a breezy tone and a DIY “play elfgames and don’t sweat the details over who rules what as long as it leads to cool adventures” aesthetic

Ah, you see, that hits very close to the point I'm trying to make, since Glorantha, as I see it, absolutely is a great fit for cool adventures, deep lore notwithstanding! The setting's background definitely could make it all better, instead of standing in the way of cool stuff. Hence the disappointment.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




There are real governments in Glorantha, the Lunars are just the ones we hear about. Loskalm in the west and Kralorela in the east both have big professional armies, robust social institutions, and multiple official magical groups much like the Lunar Empire does but we never hear about them because one's San Francisco and one's China.

Losklam cast out its evil to create a society of enlightened humanist sorcerer philosophers, and is now fighting a war with it. That's cool and interesting, but instead I get another sourcebook about Pavis where I can meet Argrath when he's calling himself something else and do the Cradle adventure again.

Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





I'd like to lodge a polite request that future Glorantha writeups please focus on the level of social interaction where the players will be? This isn't to say that that's inherently better I just know I'd get a lot more out of a sense of what life and morality are like for a citizen of the Lunar Empire and how they would get into the hero business, for example, than knowing who Herrek the Berserker is, unless players get to be (the equivalent of) Herrek the Berserk.

Edit: because from both the wiki and threads on here I have never managed to find out what life in the Lunar Empire is like at all, or what they actually use their Empire for other than spreading what I understand to be moon worship and subjugating other gods.

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


I like the Lunar Empire and the Red Goddess but basically everything else about Glorantha bores me at best. I have a particular dislike for "consensus reality"-based settings and while Glorantha is up there with Unknown Armies in terms of settings/systems that do the best they can with the concept it's not enough to overcome my distaste.

Someone once described to me all the ways that Exalted borrows from Glorantha and I'm like "yes, that's good, that's the stuff I want without the stuff I don't" but of course Exalted has all kinds of mechanical and flavorful problems of its own.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


JcDent posted:

I think Rifts is, for me, the setting I'd love to play with a ruleset that I have no intention of touching. Torg Eternity seems to have the same kitchensinky approach and an actual good ruleset, so i can actually see myself playing it somewhere down the line.

I've had a hard time figuring out why I never quite dug Torg that much compared to Rifts, despite some bad early experiences with Torg ("oh, hey I can't use this cool stuff I started with, great"). I think mostly it's just that Torg is more self-contained and more coherent, ironically. Torg feels like a collection of fantasy / pulp / sci-fi settings, but keeps things mostly at a "human plus" level. Like, the weirdest stuff you might play is like a wizard or werewolf, AFAIK. Whereas in Rifts there's far more of a player-pandering level of power, with dragons and mecha pilots and superheroes - and none of it is "contained" to one region. Having experienced Rifts first, it always felt like Torg was its safer, more responsible, less exciting older brother.

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!




Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic, Part Six: "Another one thumped his chest and snorted, 'That’s right, against the real powerhouse characters - Glitter Boy, ‘Borg, ‘Bot, Juicer, Crazy, Dragon, Power Armor - a mage is dead meat.'"

:stonklol:

Time to slow the review down a bit because we've got a infamous Siembieda Moment coming on. I'm going to counterrant a bit, and I don't mean to strawman this whole thing, but it's hard to avoid exploring the holes in this cheesy swiss chunk of an argument.

Playing Magic Characters
By Kevin Siembieda


So we start with a diatribe against people complaining that Rifts spellcasters are underpowered compared to other character types. He goes on about players pointing out that in straight-up combat, mages lose.

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic, posted:

The limited range of spells and often costly expenditure of P.P.E. were the most frequently mentioned as “problematic.” Some of these players went so far as to suggest that a farm girl with a high - powered laser pulse rifle and telescopic sight could “blow away a wimpy Ley Line Walker from 2000 feet (610 m)!” Furthermore, they claimed, even if the sorcerer knew she was out there, shooting from the hayloft of her farm, he couldn’t touch her because the range of most (commonly available) magic couldn’t reach her.

Gosh, getting taken out by a girl. How awful!


The magic of leaving your pants in the wash.

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

s the game designer, the easy answer to such comments is simple: If you don’t like the magic characters/O.C.C.s, either don’t play them (which these guys didn’t) ... or modify them to your liking. This sentiment isn’t intended to he flippant or an oversimplification, but these are two valid approaches.

That'd be a fair assertion if magic was like, a small element of the game, but it eats up a lot of page space in many of these books. You're still likely paying for it. It should be fun, not like-it-or-lump-it. If people aren't happy with it, they aren't necessarily the ones to blame.

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

1. “Role” playing can be much more than just shoot ‘em up combat

Kevin points out a wizard can use all sorts of movement, protective, or stealth spells to close the range with our farm sniper, which is true. But he says it's more interesting to find out why she'd be sniping at strangers in the first place than just shooting back mindlessly, and that the situation needs to be put in the context of a story. Which is a fair question, but it dodges the actual issue presented by his players rather than answering it.

And it's fair want to discourage combat, but Rifts really needs better and clearer mechanics to encourage that if that's what Siembieda wants to discourage. Skill rolls and charm/impress rolls are never clearly defined in the game. However, shooting people definitely is. Spells are- somewhat. Still, noncombat rules aren't robust, while missiles and guns get pages upon pages of detail, while a Lore roll is dependent on the goodwill and skill of the GM to interpret it fairly.

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

2. Diversity is good

Not racial diversity, no, we're talking about diversity of characters, and Kevin points out that some people just get hung up on playing certain styles of characters, but that just because you don't like a character type doesn't mean others won't as well. Fair enough, but once again, these are character classes filling page space, and if a lot of people don't like some, you might want to look at that. This also ignores the number of characters in Rifts that have weak or nonexistent niches. Not many people will be crying out to have a Vagabond or Forger in the party. In addition, the number of wilderness or soldier classes is practically absurd at this point. A lot of Palladium classes are just slight variations on what came before, and some are just better than other ones.

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

3. All things are not equal!

Ut-oh.

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

Game balance does not mean absolute equality. All weapons, magic and characters should not have the same power level, damage, range, or application, even under the same circumstances. It's not realistic, logical, or fun.

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

The real world is expansive and incredibly diverse.

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

This same diversity should apply to role-playing games; at least on the design level, if not always in the playing. Diversity in an RPG adventure should expand the power, capabilities and options of the player characters as a group. Not just their combined “firepower” but a broad range of skills, knowledge and abilities that should help the group survive and adapt to most situations.

"Realism" and "logic" are bad pillars to place under your arguments in a game where dragons punch giant mecha. Both of them collapse under the square-cube law, and magic dances out the door. It's true each character should get different abilities to spotlight. The problem with bad balance is, by definition, that some characters never get the spotlight at all. If the mercenary with a laser rifle is plinking away for 4d6 damage while a Glitter Boy is dealing 3d6x10, that's not fun for the mercenary, and no amount of crying "realism!" will fix that.

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

About players and playing. The unevenness of opportunities for characters (and their players through them) to shine and participate is most common in large groups of six or more, so players need to be understanding and accept this. Players should voice some concerns and discontent to the Game Master, but cut him or her some slack.

He emphasizes that it's the GM's role to make sure everybody gets an opportunity to be cool, but that some GMs will just suck. But:

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

Don’t take things personally. If you, as a player, are the lone voice in the player group who wants more (or less) role-playing and less (or more) combat, don’t become a crybaby complainer, or rules lawyer to get even. Realize that the majority in the group do not want the same things that you want. If you cannot nicely get them to try other types of adventures, it’s okay. They aren’t jerks because they won’t change. That’s what they enjoy. Unfortunately, that leaves you with the dilemma of gritting your teeth and bearing it, or finding a different group of players. That’s valid. This is supposed to he fun, you know. If it’s not fun, something is wrong.

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

Likewise, Game Masters should be concerned with the story, not pitting their cunning against the players, except in the context of furthering the adventure and making it fun and challenging to the players.

Good advice!... well, except for the pass-agginess about "crybabies" and "lawyers". The problem is that the whole specialization angle often falls apart in Palladium, either because you rolled badly at character generation or because somebody stomps all over your niche. If you play a Fire Warlock, a Phoenixi is going to show you up at every turn. No solution is presented for this. But we've gotten miles away from the original talk about wizards, haven't we? Well, let's get back to it.

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

4. To say spell casters are “wimps” is crazy!

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

Even if you measure “power” only by the brute strength and raw destructive “power” provided by M.D.C. body armor, power armor, bionics, missiles and big guns - even then - practitioners of magic are not wimps! Quite the opposite.

A fireball cast by a spellcaster of max level (15) will do 50% of the damage of a 1st level Glitter Boy, will have about 25% of the attacks of a Glitter Boy, have to spend more of their paltry attacks on defense (due to the mage often being less durable), and has 0.8% of the Glitter Boy's engagement range. (Yes, the GB can fire 122x farther.) In addition, the spellcaster will have a far slimmer amount of "ammo" to use. So this is demonstrably and hilariously false.

However, Kevin is impressed that a wizard doesn't need any external gimmicks to do their craft, the equivalent of being impressed with D&D monks despite their paltry combat abilities because "you can't ever disarm them!" Well, unless you make a habit of disarming PCs, it doesn't matter a whole lot.

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

High level characters can become the equivalent of demigods!

I presume he means proverbial demigods, because the Demigod R.C.C. can effectively take multiple spellcasting classes at once and outshine most vanilla human and D-Bee spellcasters. So it's a bad turn of phrase. But... I guess balance doesn't matter. A better point that he makes is that there are a wide variety of utility spells you can use to fulfill a variety of roles, which is true. Just, you know, don't expect to be a damage-dealer or taker. However, some are more or less useful. And that's where, much like D&D, spellcasters are best at finding tricks that give them overall utility, and that's where Rifts sorcerers do work. However...


"Hugs for your face!"

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

More Spells & New O.C.C.s

... he then potentially undermines his whole argument by adding they've created new mages and spells for this book that are even stronger "even more exciting". So after all that handwringing, don't worry! But they'll still be largely poo poo in a fight, thanks to some rule clarifications we'll get later on. There'll be some better combat wizards, but that's because of their improved non-spellcasting combat skills. They'll be better at using guns, swords, and golems, but spellcasting will remain a headache to actually cast in combat.

Rifts World Book 16: Federation of Magic posted:

Consequently, many of these new incantations are clearly intended to address, equal or counter high-tech weapons and machine, as well as deal with armed forces and the proliferation of magic

:v:

But technological characters will still get around twice to quintuple the action economy there, and they still get saving throws.

In any case, after all of the talk how to be better be a better wizard player and like or lump it shrugs, he could have just written, "if you don't like the existing spellcaster classes, take a look at the new ones, maybe you'll find something you like!" instead of a long passive-aggressive diatribe about how maybe the problem is on your side. Because that's what this section comes down to, instead of looking at wizard combat and realizing that they're beyond crippled in many conflicts, he shrugs and lays all the work in fixing that at the player's feet.

TL;DR: get gud, wizzards

Next: I'm a fuckin' wizard.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

I'm a lovely person who deserves to be happy!


Foglet posted:

I must admit I'm not a great fan of the "here's a greatly extensive history of our setting, and you can select any previous period from it to play in" approach, even though Glorantha, with half a century of IRL development under its belt, is kinda sorta entwined with this point of view. It just... makes my hands as a GM feel tied in a way I don't want (see also: a certain word beginning with 'meta' and ending in 'plot'). Yeah, yeah, I know, most of the times it doesn't actually stand in the way of local personal adventures that such and such a war will be starting in ten years or more, but my point still stands.

Then ignore it. I am having it in my current game where Sartar may not even arrive in the country and we might end up having wacky hijinks in the Holy country quite soon. It's all a matter of if you give a poo poo about the overarching story. Like it is so simple to change some of the details (because they are smudged to all gently caress) and just have your own adventure.

Foglet posted:

Wait, do we have one of the authors here?

Why yes I am Greg Stafford, 70 year old shaman. Nahhh, it's just that Chaosium is currently looking into publishing more freelance work and I am thinking "well, I don't have much else to do, why not design a game book"!

gradenko_2000 posted:

This isn't really a Glorantha-specific issue, but in any setting I try to read I look for a, if not The, source of conflict within five minutes.

Your right, and it's why I am a bit of a fan of the red cow adventure book for setting up immediate conflict. It's also why if I ever do get around to it that is going to be one of the big game starting events of the book. Something like "Your city needs to survive whilst under siege, GO!"

Joe Slowboat posted:

I'd like to lodge a polite request that future Glorantha writeups please focus on the level of social interaction where the players will be? This isn't to say that that's inherently better I just know I'd get a lot more out of a sense of what life and morality are like for a citizen of the Lunar Empire and how they would get into the hero business, for example, than knowing who Herrek the Berserker is, unless players get to be (the equivalent of) Herrek the Berserk.

You know what, your right. It's just traditionally they are the "antagonists" so their empire doesn't have much of a write up.

Tuxedo Catfish posted:

I like the Lunar Empire and the Red Goddess but basically everything else about Glorantha bores me at best. I have a particular dislike for "consensus reality"-based settings and while Glorantha is up there with Unknown Armies in terms of settings/systems that do the best they can with the concept it's not enough to overcome my distaste.

Someone once described to me all the ways that Exalted borrows from Glorantha and I'm like "yes, that's good, that's the stuff I want without the stuff I don't" but of course Exalted has all kinds of mechanical and flavorful problems of its own.

It isn't a consensus, it is just that other things are literally true for everyone. It's a personal relationship with a divinity that is both slightly influenced by yourself even as you are influenced by them.

If I can chat about this I would love to, because I like people getting involved in this sort of crap.

Josef bugman fucked around with this message at 18:01 on Mar 1, 2018

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


Yeah, it's less "the consensus is right" and more "it turns out nobody is wrong".

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Part of the problem is that a lot of the sort of 'ground level' view of things is in old out of print magazines from the dawn of time that may or may not still be accurate.

(I remember seeing reports of a Lunar convention game from the eighties featuring a Priest of the Crimson Bat Cult who was literally Batman, using his crime-fighting vigilante activities to identify good prospects to be bat-food. I do not think that this is still a thing, unfortunately.)

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

I'm a lovely person who deserves to be happy!


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah, it's less "the consensus is right" and more "it turns out nobody is wrong".

Mhm, it is that there isn't a single truth at all and we have to live with that. Kind of like real life, but with more shooting lightning from your eyes.


unseenlibrarian posted:

(I remember seeing reports of a Lunar convention game from the eighties featuring a Priest of the Crimson Bat Cult who was literally Batman, using his crime-fighting vigilante activities to identify good prospects to be bat-food. I do not think that this is still a thing, unfortunately.)

I missed this but I remember reading a write up of it and it is still my default when I imagine the Lunar empire.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



I think sandbox games are just designed to hook people with interesting gimmicks, and sometimes you don't catch any fish. I remember finishing the slog through Talislanta and thinking "That entire book was ideas for games to run in crazy places, and I don't care about any of them."

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Alien Rope Burn posted:

Yeah, it's less "the consensus is right" and more "it turns out nobody is wrong".

It was a poor choice of phrase, then; what bugs me is belief influencing reality. (Or reality being cleverly set up by the writer so that "nobody is wrong," as you say, even if the in-fiction mechanism is a little more roundabout.)

It goes against both positivism and the idea of any single transcendental truth if what is true depends on the subjective experiences of human beings. It makes us too important as compared to the gods, laws of physics, or anything between the two, while still being subject to them. As a fantasy it makes the fictional universe way too small and as a metaphor for how reality actually works it's abhorrent.

Josef bugman posted:

Mhm, it is that there isn't a single truth at all and we have to live with that. Kind of like real life, but with more shooting lightning from your eyes.

Or in other words, I couldn't disagree with this more.

Tuxedo Catfish fucked around with this message at 18:55 on Mar 1, 2018

Foglet
Jun 17, 2014

Reality is an illusion.
The universe is a hologram.
Buy gold.


I think Gloranthan positivists are called the God-Learners.

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

I'm a lovely person who deserves to be happy!


Tuxedo Catfish posted:

Or in other words, I couldn't possibly disagree with this more.

Why, if you don't mind me asking? I don't want to turn this into a philosophy discussion but I would like to discuss this.

marshmallow creep
Dec 10, 2008

I've been sitting here for 5 mins trying to think of a joke to make but I just realised the animators of Mass Effect already did it for me



Does any of this God time myth making stuff have actual real effects on people living in the not God time world? If I heroquest hard enough and have really racist ideas about ducks, can I make my racist beliefs actual realities that make the subjects of my irrational hatred into living cartoons? Or would my beliefs just become a flavor of the culture myths and now my ideas merely echo to everyone of my culture?

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


Foglet posted:

I think Gloranthan positivists are called the God-Learners.

Yeah, and the God-Learning being portrayed as both a practically and morally horrible idea, inseparable from a colonial attitude, and also a nearly-extinct one is basically a big neon sign saying Glorantha isn't for me.

Josef bugman posted:

Why, if you don't mind me asking? I don't want to turn this into a philosophy discussion but I would like to discuss this.

I would describe the problem more in terms of our lack of access to the truth, and while I suspect that some epistemological problems are unsolvable, I would prefer to be mistaken. :v:

FMguru
Sep 10, 2003

peed on;
sexually

marshmallow creep posted:

Does any of this God time myth making stuff have actual real effects on people living in the not God time world? If I heroquest hard enough and have really racist ideas about ducks, can I make my racist beliefs actual realities that make the subjects of my irrational hatred into living cartoons? Or would my beliefs just become a flavor our the culture myths and now my ancestors start sharing my love of rabbits and duck season.
You absolutely can change things in the real world by heroquesting hard enough. The God Learners (and now, the Lunars) did this in a systematic way to help spread their empire and religion. When the Empire of Wyrm's Friends was getting off the ground, a huge number of Orlanthi were converted to its cause when a charismatic and respected Wind Priest "discovered" that it turns out that Orlanth was actually best buddies with the Dragons and had been all along and when he fought and killed Aroka the Cosmic Blue Dragon that was all part of an important draconic utuma ceremony that he was helping with and so the cult of Orlanth Dragonfriend was launched.

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

marshmallow creep posted:

Does any of this God time myth making stuff have actual real effects on people living in the not God time world? If I heroquest hard enough and have really racist ideas about ducks, can I make my racist beliefs actual realities that make the subjects of my irrational hatred into living cartoons? Or would my beliefs just become a flavor of the culture myths and now my ideas merely echo to everyone of my culture?

It's more "You've got really racist ideas about ducks and hero quest with that in mind you wind up with special magic when facing ducks and maybe you can deny the spells of the Khans of Stormbill and turn aside the swords of Hueymakt. Your people might get access to that special magic too. But it's not like, mind control and you won't make the ducks themselves racist caricatures. Not even all Orlanthi bought into Dragonfriend, in the example above.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Warhammer 40,000 Roleplay: Dark Heresy: Part 3

Nerd with an SMG: The hero we can believe in

The Adept is a class whose usefulness is going to be entirely dependent on your GM. They know everything. Even a fairly young Adept character is going to know a little about everything from administration to legend to occult wizard poo poo to science to tech. They are absolutely terrible in a fight, but we'll get to the reasons why this won't hurt them quite as badly later on when we get to combat mechanics; suffice for now that having one character whose job it is to hold down the trigger and scream SUPPRESSING FIRE! at the top of their lungs/lob grenades is helpful and idiot proof enough that even the team nerd can do it. They're good at Intelligence, Perception, and Willpower (The team nerd is usually going to be pretty brave) and bad at Weapon Skill, Strength, and Toughness. Fluff-wise, they tend to be college professors, bureaucrats, middle-managers, and other forms of nerd the Inquisitor has forced into service.

Now, how a career works is that you have various breakpoints, at 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 6000, 8000, and 10,000 exp. Once you've spent that amount of EXP, you 'rank up' and can now buy a ton of new advances from that new level of your career, while still having access to everything you'd unlocked prior. You also get splits in your career line, where you have to choose between two advance schemes. Weirdly, Adept has 2 splits instead of one; they split between a turbo-knowledgable administrator and scientist advance pack at level 4 or the best doctor in the game, and because of the split, someone who takes the medic class will never get a bunch of useful talents and skills (like technical training), while someone who goes scientist never, ever learns to do even basic medical stuff or biology. Later on, the Adept splits between occultist or turbo-nerd, at rank 6. Most classes will only split once, at rank 6. The Occultist Adept learns a ton of hidden knowledge and even gains the ability to use psychic powers. The Sage (turbo-nerd) Adept instead gets even more mundane knowledge and an Unnatural Intelligence option.

Which means I have to talk about Unnaturals already. Sage is, by the way, the only class that gets one. Unnaturals were an attempt to deal with how, say, a really experienced Grail Knight or Demon Slayer or whatever might manage to get a Str or Tough higher than a dragon at base in WHFRP. They turned out pretty badly. If you have an Unnatural Stat, you double your stat for purposes of determining your stat bonus. So say I have a 40 Toughness, and Unnatural Toughness, I actually have an 8 Toughness Bonus and reduce everything coming at me by 8. Intelligence is not a hugely useful Unnatural (yet) since in DH, Int Bonus really only affects your ability to heal people with Medicae and you might not even have that. Unnaturals also get patched in as adding directly to your Degrees of Success on opposed checks by I think Inquisitor's Handbook, the first add-on book of the line.

Anyway, the usefulness of an Adept is going to come down entirely to how often your GM calls for knowledge tests or lets you use them to connect pieces of information to one another. They're adorable, sure, and my players always liked having an NPC Adept on call to ask questions whenever they could get him to stop hyperventilating, but as a PC class they're going to be very 'GM may I' in how much your degree is going to come up.

Arbitrators, being badass space cops, are much less nebulous in their usefulness. The Arbitrator is the start of a general trend in the design of DH: Most classes are actually fairly competent at combat and everyone is better at using a gun than melee. Unless you're good at both WS and BS, your BS will *always* have a better advance scheme than your WS. Arbitrators only have 2 bad stats, Agility and Strength, and they're great at Intelligence, Toughness, and Ballistic Skill. They also get a ton of cheap Wounds they can buy (It is fairly common to see an Arbitrator get above 20 HP eventually) and are clearly intended to be tanky gunfighters and competent investigators. They only have a single split, at level 6, between being an open and obvious Judge Dredd type or being a sneaky secret policeman. In either capacity, they have decent social skills, they're great at detective work, they're hard to kill, and they're good in a fight. Neither of their branching paths is useless, and both play to the class's overall strengths. You'll probably never be sorry you have a space cop on your team. They can either be actual Adeptus Arbites recruits, or local cops, or angry renegades who don't play by the rules and who thus end up with the Inquisition.

Assassins are one of the best fighting classes in the game. They don't get the extra cheap wounds of a Guardsman or quite the same facility with heavy weapons, but they get some degree of stealth and subtlety (so they can do things other than just kill people), they gain extra attacks in melee faster than any other class, they have very high Agility, BS, and WS growth (with poor Toughness and Fellowship. They aren't even bad at Strength), and they get a very powerful talent very early: Mighty Shot. You might remember Mighty Shot from WHFRP, where it was a great +1 damage with ranged weapons. Here, it's +2. Combine this with automatic weapons and the fact that Assassins learn it while you're probably still using fairly basic gear, and they'll put in a lot of work. Assassins eventually get a choice between a more social 'guildmaster' assassin, who probably isn't that great since you've still got dogshit Fellowship to work with AND they miss out on all the extra Dodge/Parry talents (you can get Talents to let you react to and active defend multiple attacks a turn), or the kill-crazy Death Adept who also suddenly gets the ability to use heavy weapons, too. Assassins are just your standard edgy killers for hire or death-cultists, in their normal fluff.

Next Time: Clerics? What's a Cleric doing here?

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

I'm a lovely person who deserves to be happy!


marshmallow creep posted:

Does any of this God time myth making stuff have actual real effects on people living in the not God time world? If I heroquest hard enough and have really racist ideas about ducks, can I make my racist beliefs actual realities that make the subjects of my irrational hatred into living cartoons? Or would my beliefs just become a flavor of the culture myths and now my ideas merely echo to everyone of my culture?

Oh absolutely. It sets partial patterns for behaviours (when you get closer to your gods you become a bit more like them as well). However that is not a hard and fast rule and your racism may only apply in a small area. The thing is that you may be chief poo poo of tribe by the lake, but the other tribes think of you as just another barbarian potentate.

Tuxedo Catfish posted:

Yeah, and the God-Learning being portrayed as both a practically and morally horrible idea, inseparable from a colonial attitude, and also a nearly-extinct one is basically a big neon sign saying Glorantha isn't for me.

I would describe the problem more in terms of our lack of access to the truth, and while I suspect that some epistemological problems are unsolvable, I would prefer to be mistaken. :v:

I'd say its more the fact that it's someone disliking having things like the monomyth applied as well. The idea that everything is reducible down to a single ideal of "truth" seems, to me at least, inherently fashionable to those who wish to build empires. I have this big army ergo I am morally correct and in possession of truth.

I know I am not going to convince you otherwise, but I am glad to have this discussion!

Tuxedo Catfish
Mar 17, 2007

You've got guts! Come to my village, I'll buy you lunch.


I mean, I imagine speaking words and breathing air are fashionable among conquerors, as well.

All you need to discredit the monomyth is all the evidence that it's wrong.

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Joe Slowboat
Nov 9, 2016

Higgledy-Piggledy Whale Statements





I personally think the idea of ultimately relative truth is incoherent on a philosophical level; moreover, it inherently denies any possible universalism of, say, human rights. So on an ontological and moral level I think pure relativism of truth is not good.

That being said, the idea that there is not a single guiding narrative truth of history (like the British Empire) is central to some very well-thought-out postmodernism, and I think is fundamentally separable from the ontological relativism that it is often parlayed into.

Glorantha seems to have a pretty well-structured meta-truth that allows for variable theological truth, but where I think I part ways with it is the idea that this changes the basic lived reality of the world two people share in different ways for them. If I claim you are killing me with a sword, you shouldn't get to say that actually it is I who am killing you with my unwillingness to submit to your sword, and have those be equally true. There is an underlying reality which we interpret, or else the God Learners were no worse than anyone else.

And the setting goes out of its way to say they're terrible, as far as I can tell. The relativism ends precisely at the depiction of positivism, and that's kind of silly.

My 2c

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