Err, Onslaught again (sorry).

From: MSmylie@aol.com
Date: Wed 01 May 1996 - 20:29:08 EEST


Hello all.

Martin of the Laurie Rune wrote:
>Your fellows were PCs, Onslaught is an NPC. I've yet to see a PC rise above
>180% weapon skill and I've never seen a PC with anything like Onslaughts
>power.

Sorry, I was well aware that Onslaught was an NPC, but I tend to think of PCs
and NPCs as operating within the same basic framework of "da roolz". I
brought up that campaign essentially to point out the extraordinary
difficulty, based on "actual experience", of generating a character like
Onslaught (a super-skilled loner who's seemingly never lost a combat), even
with 30+ years of gametime to work with and a GM willing to bend "da roolz" a
bit (if not break them altogether). Obviously, GM fiat goes a long way, but
on a personal level I tend to get antsy when unexplainably powerful NPCs show
up. As a _player_, I dislike being presented with opponents or even allies
that don't "make sense" within the context of what seems possible within both
"da roolz" and the culture of the world I'm rpging in (things like 15 year
old street urchins with 250% dagger skill); and as a _GM_, I tend to think
that outrageous exceptions detract from the flavor and consistency of a
believable world. Of course, your Glorantha may differ, and if your players
look upon Onslaught as a perfectly reasonable NPC, then more power to you.

>However I thought that if Greg can write about Harrek and Argrath and all
the
>rest why can I not write about a rather minor hero in my Glorantha? Wheres
>the harm in that? I'm not trying to present it as _the_ view, just _a_
view.

Personally I don't see any "harm" in writing about Onslaught or posting his
Stats, or for that matter posting the conjectured Stats of other Heroes; in
fact, I'd be willing to encourage it, in that such postings, as reductive as
some might find them, give us all a concrete and material base from which to
work and refer (in fact, I'd post stats from the campaign I mentioned as a
counterpoint, but unfortunately the GM kept the characters once the campaign
was over and had the temerity to move to another state; I'll see if I can get
him to send them to me, though). OTOH, that said, there ain't either a
Harrek or an Argrath in my Glorantha, or in any Glorantha I've ever played in
... and the idea that Onslaught is a "rather minor hero" makes me shudder,
frankly.

Like some others, I've gone back and pulled out some of the published
"official" NPCs, and I would only want to point out that most of the
off-the-scale stone killers that have been published (few of whom could match
up against Onslaught) tend to either be Chaos monstrosities like the Crimson
Bat or the Chaos Gaggle (and Chaos is a roolz-breaker to begin with) or
carefully and elaborately explained. You've mentioned Julan and Anderida
from the Coders frex, but as MikeOB pointed out, Anderida is related by blood
to a divine figure (and there's a price for her powers) and the entire Coders
unit is heavily supported by the not-unconsiderable power of the Lunar
Empire; most of the heavy-duty magic items they use, frex, aren't theirs at
all, but are on loan. As MOB pointed out, Onslaught could probably wipe out
the Coders without breaking a sweat. Ralzakark seems a bad reference point,
as he/it is a 700+ year old illuminated Chaos heroquester who lives in what
might be the single most warped piece of real estate in all Glorantha, and
he's actually _worshipped_ in his own personal hero cult (and I would suspect
that Argrath is as well). Mistress the Last actually seems to come close to
Onslaught in some respects (super bad-ass loner, though once again she
wouldn't last long against him), but she is cursed (by Gbaji!), and geased
(by Kyger Litor herself) in exchange for her most significant power, her
ability to renew divine spells by herself (a power Onslaught appears
desperately in need of, I'm surprised you didn't throw that one in ;-)).

In almost all of these cases, there is both a heavy price to be paid for
power and a communal context in which such powers arise. Onslaught the Man
Alone, who despite being presented as a virtual avatar for Humakt is still
using an _axe_, for crying out loud, seems to have no apparent weaknesses or
any community to draw support and power from (although Deville seems to also
be a one-man community; I suppose that the two of them together could be
considered their own small country).

Later,
Mark

(Hooray for Rubble Runner Tricksters! burp)

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