Re: Sandy fesses up

From: Sandy Petersen (sandyp@idgecko.idsoftware.com)
Date: Tue 09 May 1995 - 23:32:38 EEST



Scott Haney
>Sandy reports that each Superhero was tied to a specific rune.

        Before this becomes writ in adamant, let me state openly and publicly that this is no more than an educated speculation. Nonetheless I'll stick by it until shown an example of two superheroes sharing the same Rune.

Peter Metcalfe reminds me that Errinoru did conquer the dwarfs in the Mari Mountains, and apparently (no proof) instigated the Vegetarian Heresy. All very true.

        This is remarkably mild-mannered. If he'd been a Genertelan elf hero, I suspect the dwarfs of the Mari would have been exterminated, not suborned.

        And I don't think that Errinoru is a "good" guy. Certainly the Doraddi (among my favorite Gloranthans) remember his reign as one of terror -- as the dread jungle began replanting itself over the savannah, infiltrating south through the gap between the Mari and Palarkri mountains. Wait. Dang. Are the Palarkri mtns the ones furthest east? If not, those are the ones I mean.

        The jungle spread several hundred miles into the plains. At the same time that the Doraddi had to fight the Six Legged Empire, they were pressed by the jungle, too.

        I think that Gloranthan elves are polite, urbane, quiet, and nurturing. I also believe that they are implacable, vengeful, and utterly ruthless. Worse than trolls. Trolls don't want to exterminate all elves, or all dwarfs. Many trolls don't even want to exterminate all humans. But there can be no doubt that elves work for the extinction of trolls, dwarfs, and humans alike. Except for the occasional human who actually becomes an elf-friend (like Elamle).

Ian or Katts
>Sandy : I think military history will back me up when I say
>professionals beat amateurs at war.

        I won't deny that, all things being equal, better-trained troops have an edge. That's not saying much -- history is rife with examples of ill-trained soldiers whupping experienced armies hands-down. This has held true from Marathon to Vietnam.

        And I never argued that the Lunars didn't have an edge over their opponents. In fact, I argued that they _must_ have such an edge, because the nature of their empire forces them to have a rather small army. I also claim that the nature of their edge is their magic. This doesn't mean that their soldiers aren't well-drilled -- I just don't think that the difference in skill between a lunar phalanx and a mob of barbarians is necessarily decisive. Perhaps the Granite Phalanx could take on twice its number in raw Sartarite militia swordsmen, but I don't think it could take on five times its number.

Freeforms

        IMO, a 6-hour LARP is harder to run and play in than a 48 hour one. In a 48 hour game, you know you'll have time to talk to all the other players, get your plots to run, have dinner, etc. Pacing is more relaxed in general (though at times it becomes very frenzied indeed). The way that you're kept wound up for all 6 hours in a short freeform is a detriment, to my mind. I would rather take a longer time. Also, for what it's worth, the larger the LARP, the better it goes. If a player won't help you in a 20-player game, you're out of luck. But in a 80-player game, there's _always_ other allies that you can fool, inveigle, pay, or otherwise twist to your use. The action tends to balance itself, and foolish decisions on the designers' part are buffered.

Harald Smith
> This makes me wonder if Chaos ever agreed to the Compromise.

        Chaos did _not_ ever agree to the Compromise, and violates it regularly. Consider that both attempts to violate the Compromise since time began resulted in Chaos -- the creation of Osentalka led to the Gbaji wars (regardless of who Gbaji was, you can't deny that Chaos was going on in these wars), and then there is the Red Goddess, who openly flaunts chaotic powers, and associates them irrevocably in all Gloranthans' minds with Chaos -- "By use of illumination, you can make Chaos your friend and tool."

        IMO, before the Red Goddess came along, Illumination was not seen as a way to reconcile ourselves to Chaos (or vice versa). Instead, it was seen as a means of reconciling the various religions to one another into one grand philosophy -- sort of a super-Monomyth replacement. It is the Lunar Empire who is responsible for the modern association of chaos with illumination, because they have _chosen_ to do so.

me
>If Peloria had had an Elamle instead of a Sheng Seleris, it would
be >a happier place today.

        Trivia note: Elamle was a human, not an elf. When she showed up and went among the elves, the elves were at that time of the belief that all humans in the world had been destroyed, and that she was the last human.

Harald
>And maybe it would have had one if not for the Moonburn. Perhaps
>this whole ritual was designed to destroy the one true hero who
>could have stopped Sheng and united Peloria in peace.

        The lunars didn't want to stop Sheng?

In the world creation digest, David Cake made an exceedingly interesting comment, which I'm now going to quote at length.

>Assuming that you want to allow a little powergaming, but not let
it >get out of hand, Glorantha is a good example. And I think its
>secrets are-
>1) as a general rule, the more powerful you are the more you fit
>into (and are constrained by) society. Sometimes this is explicit -
>most people gain power directly from their religion or followers.
>2) emphasis of other types of power - there are many people in
>Glorantha who are not necessarily dangerous in a fight, but have
>other sorts of power, including fertility power, knowledge, unique
>magical tricks. There are also many different ways in which you can
>be dangerous, which vary widely in effectiveness against different
>opponents. Being really tough certainly does not guarantee your
>survival.

        This is rather an insightful statement. I had not really thought about it before, but the fact is that in my D&D campaigns, as my players grew stronger and stronger, they became _less_ involved with the local society, and became more and more self-motivated, while the exact opposite is true in D&D.

I said:
> Harrek has no culture. Harrek has no cult. He belongs to no
> religion, has no faith. He is a loner, stimulated into action
> almost exclusively by hatred, greed, and fear, and his friendship
> with Argrath is his one pathetic redeeming characteristic.

Andrew Behan
>Is n't this the essence of the Superhero? A Heroquester like Arkat
>who has so many loyalties that they cancel out or like Harrek who
>has none; a high level D&D character let loose in Glorantha.

        Harrek _is_ rather like a high-level D&D character, but I do not believe he is the essence of the superhero. Rather, it is a terrible disaster for Glorantha that a superhero has arisen possessing Harrek's qualities. Fortunately, Argrath seems to be able to serve as a slight brake on some of Harrek's worst proclivities, or at least channel it against a single named foe instead of against the whole hateful world at large.



This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 10 Oct 2003 - 01:51:27 EEST