[Glorantha] Expectations and spoilers etc.

From: Light Castle <light_castle_at_sympatico.ca>
Date: Sun, 03 Jul 2005 18:03:04 -0400

I've been away this week, so I am going to try and stitch a bunch of answers together so as not to bombard you all.

"Greg Stafford"

 As scenario writer my job is to
> entertain the narrator enough to inspire and encourage her to run the
> scenario. This requires some suspense and holding back information until
> the right moment.

Yes, but... (to borrow a phrase) I don't know any narrators who run a scenario because it has held back information from them. Indeed, just the opposite. One of the single most annoying things about the meta-plot of the White Wolf games was the sense that you were always in danger of the next book revealing something they hid from you in an earlier one.

The narrator's needs are not the player's needs.

> For everyone who wants to know everything all at once beforehand, I can
> only say, "Sorry." I'm not doing it to frustrate you, and I beg your
> patience and support and understanding.

I quite understand you can't do everything at once. :)

Jane Williams
> Who may have put "Kallyr is my aunt" in their 100
> words.... They do, you know.

Or "Kallyr is a childhood friend", to take the example from my game.

> Hmm. How small can I squash it?
> "Danar is Kallyr's son by XXXX. No, they are not
> lovers, though there may be rumours to that effect.
> The only people who know this are..."
> Then drop some of the stuff about which bit of Dara
> Happa he was brought up in. And add the date when they
> met. I bet we could have got the word-count the same.

Which, from a Narrator point of view, I would certainly prefer. I asked a friend of mine who GMs DnD about this, he immediately pointed out that a mysterious character introduced and killed off in the same adventure, having played the role of spurring a major ritual was exactly the one he would immediately start tinkering a background for, since he would have assumed that they no longer affect the continuity of the story.

Trotsky wrote

> This is, however, I think a different point from the one Jane seems to
> be making, about whether the Kallyr/Danar relationship should have been
> kept secret. Arguably, that's not a point about who your PCs are, or
> what their motivations might be. It's more a question of making sure the
> GM doesn't, in his inevitable adaptation to suit his own group, put in
> some incident that makes it undeniable that they're lovers (or whatever)
> - because the GM assumes that won't matter much further down the line.

This is exactly how it would have likely affected me or the group I play with.

> My experience as to what Narrators find entertaining is
> clearly different from Greg's (on a number of counts, not just this one)
> but there's absolutely no reason to suppose that the Narrators I know
> are any more representative of the market than the ones he knows - he's
> been closely involved with this sort of thing a damn sight longer than I
> have, for one!

And a point well worth considering.
The fact that this is opposite to the way I and my friends enjoy gaming doesn't mean it isn't the right thing to do from a business point of view.

More from Jane again:

> I *want* the story arc right in there from the beginning, so I can
> foreshadow it, get all the NPCs lined up in the right places, put minor
> relationships and bits of knowledge in there long before they're needed, and
> above all, refrain from accidentally contradicting it. Surprises for the
> GM, by all means, but not in the major plot thread. There *will* be
> surprises, unless the whole of Book 3 is included in Book 2, and the whole
> of that in Book 1. But in any case, I don't buy supplements for surprises as
> such, I buy them for the descriptions, the plot ideas that I wouldn't have
> thought of, the minor NPCs - the detail, rather than the skeleton.

I agree 100 percent. To paraphrase my the non-Gloranthan GM I mentioned above, he wanted a list of major relationships at the front of each module, just so he could make sure to play them.

Similarly, as I've mentioned before, I bought HQ for the rule system, not the world. The world was so good it sucked me in. One of the things I liked was that I sort of knew the plot of the Dragon Pass area. (In broad brush.) I knew of Whitewall, the Dragonrise, etc. The major plot thread is already laid out, and so I can use it.

I'll try to catch up more later.


Received on Mon 04 Jul 2005 - 00:01:18 EEST

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