Ralzakark; Killing Heroes

From: Nick Effingham (wal@eff.u-net.com)
Date: Fri 17 Jan 1997 - 00:56:20 EET


Stephen talks about Ralzakark:

>The stats in Dorastor: Land of Doom are NOT for The Ralzakark, they are
>for one aspect or part of the god. The Unicorn Emperor is one part, the
>Hollow Man another, there is a Walking Hill, and many more. The monstrous
>thing mentioned in the description of the Hollow Man in D:LoD, that is
>the _real_ Ralzakark. And I wouldn't want to see its stats!

 Hmm, I wasn't the walking hill just one of his many children? Hollow Man?
As for stats, if you sought to kill Ralzakark the GOd, the being from which
all other Ralzakark entities stem, then you'd have to describe it underneath
HQ rules. Under YAHQS, this could be accomplished fully and successfully in
about five lines. Ergo, Ralzakark is, IMHO, definable. Of course, that
doesn't make it easy to kill him.

Martin Laurie:

>>Having spoken to Simon, and read the notes on his campaign, I find it
plausible
>>that what happened, happened. Firstly, are you stating that if your
characters
>>came up with an infallible way to slay a major NPC i.e. Ralzakark, that you
>would >prevent them because it interfered with the Timeline?
>
>No I wouldn't but I'd never let them get into that position in the first place.

 Hmm, I still feel that limiting a character merely so he has no chance of
interacting with Glorantha on an epic scale is artifical. I wouldn't like it
being done to me, to be sure.

>I don't necessarily agree with this, as I like to see descriptions of heroic
>powers but it seemed clear to me that Ralzakark is extremely dangerous and
would
>be almost impossible to reach by any normal method that PCs could ever reach.

 Isn't this a paradox? If it has stats, it can be killed. It's *that*
simple. There is someway to get around everything. That method may be
difficult, dangerous and/or highly implausible, but doesn't mean you can't
do it.

>Who cares whether they're Gregs characters or not? Its irrelevant. What is
>relevant is scale. Glorantha is a world with clearly defined areas of history
>and action. Its not a gameworld where your meant to take over or build an
>Empire that transcends all others. The interaction in Glorantha comes _from_
>the mythic and historical pre-determined path. To stop the hero wars is
>pointless, just run your campaign three hundred years earlier if you don't want
>things to be messy or if you want to rule the world, play another game
world but
>you can't call it Glorantha because it no longer is the Glorantha that we spend
>hours dissecting.

 This is biased. Your point centers on the fact that you have no intrest in
epic storytelling, and only wish to center on the social implications and
complications of Glorantha. This isn't wrong, of course, and should
(hopefully) be part of any campaign. However, I do not see why a society
becomes non-Gloranthan when their figurehead is slain. Look at Holy County,
a new ruler appears. Just because the new ruler isn't in the background,
doesn't mean that the campaign is non-Gloranthan, it's just unoffical. There
is a difference.
 It still *is* Glorantha. The relationship of myth and mortal still exists,
the same gods, same history, same motives are there.

>If it really bugs you move your campaign to the fourth age and show us all what
>you've come up with but why bother fiddling with something that could be little
>better?

 The point isn't to play a campaign after the results of the Hero Wars, but
to play the game to see how your version of the Hero Wars turns out.

>I think you are missing the point - Harrek is NOT a mere mortal nor ever has
>been - he's a hero from the start or else he wouldn't be what he is in 1620.
>Its like saying Conan was just this guy who happened to get incredibly strong,
>the best swordsman in the world, the most cunning, ferocious and intelligent
>warrior of an age - yeah he just was walking along and all this heroism
fell off
>a lorry and landed on him and POW he became Conan.

 Of course Harrek was a mere mortal!! Well, maybe "mere" wouldn't be the
best explanations :) Harrek was special, sure, but so are player characters.
The forceful, willful personality of Harrek sets him apart from the masses
and gave him the "get up and go" to become a HeroQuester. TO me, Harrek is
the prime example of a player character. He probabley just rolled good on
his beginning stats :)

 Harrek wasn't born a god, demigod or superhero. That's one feature of
Glorantha, the mortals emulate the immortals. The world changing events at
the end of the third age are all due to mortals, not gods. It'd be a crap
game if, no matter what you did or who you were, a Deux Es Machina occured
and the gods put there noses in where they weren't wanted. I'm saying that
PC's should be given the chance, no matter how small, to be one of these
world changing mortals.

>When you start killing the heroes you've killed the wonder, killed the star to
>reach for. When Harrek bites the dust in a campaign whats next - lets go and
>kill Humakt to get his cool sword?

 Make sure he stays dead. Make deals with the Lunar Empire. Prevent the
kingdom you've managed to pull together from being devoured by the weather
conditions that assail your home every year. Go on a HeroQuest. Explore the
Elder Wilds. Explore the Lands Under Dorastor in the hope of finding your
one true love who ran off all those years ago in search of adventure
herself. Find a wife. Teach junior the tricks of the trade. Muster your
armies for a raid into the depths of Pent in the vain hope that this time
you will stop them from attacking Prax where your family and cloest friends
reside (all normal people that you have an emotional attatchment to) hiding
in fear from the deadly Horse riders. In fact, ANYTHING that goes on in a
NORMAL campaign, except on a larger scale, and sometimes even then (I'd like
to see your Orlanthi Hero, with all his killer powers, try to seduce the bar
maid he's fallen passionately in love with).

> As I said NOTE that DRAGONS and SUPERHEROES are immune to
>MAGIC. Its pretty bloody clear about that and thats because of their control
>over the powerflow.

 Agreed that the Infinity Rune gives control over the magical fields around
yourself, but I don't think this control is complete and utter. I don't know
what the details would be, perhaps a POW vs. POW can stop any form of magic
use or something along those lines. It'd stop Rune Magic being cast, Divine
Intervention etc... but could it flatten an army? No, at least not IMHO. I
think the Rune also gives the Hero an intresting new insight/view of the
universe -- likened to that of the Gamesmaster, the Superhero knows the
games rules and how best to manipulate them.

>Of course he can be killed but not by anything short of another superhero,
>dragon or god.

 I still believe that, as a Rune Lord can be killed be a band of well
prepared intiates (or trollkin for that matter!) as can a Superhero fall
foul to a group of well prepared Heros. Anyhow, what defines Superhero and
God? What defines Hero? How do you know when your character has entered the
"I can kill Harrek stage"? I believe that this is why stats exist, not to
encumber the GM or to destroy the illusion that is Gloranthan roleplaying,
but as a group of well defined limits to tell us WHO can kill Harrek and WHO
can't.

>[on high level campaigns]
>Look, there's nothing wrong with this kind of stuff, it can be a great
laugh but
>all I'm trying to say is that its no longer Glorantha you're playing.

 I don't think that there's a rule in Glorantha of any form that says we
should all play low level characters, limited to advancing as far as Rune
Lord and stopping. I think that's part of the fun for me in RQ, contrary to
popular opinion I think it handles high power characters just as well as low
level.

> Call it "SuperRQ with a Gloranthan setting" or whatever but its not
>common or garden Glorantha anymore, the pleasure of which comes from exploring
>the _mythic_ and social implications of actions.

 I don't think there is a common or garden Glorantha campaign, although a
lot of RQ is played in Pavis whereby groups of adventurers annoy Lunars and
plunder the Big Rubble. Look at the diversity of campaigns from Digest
readers alone, Pendragon Pass with Dave Dunham, Pam Carlson and co., Jane
William's Pavis campaign where the main characters are children, Ralian
campaigns, Pamaltelan campaigns, mini-campaigns set in Wenderian Pelanda,
Simn's high level gaming, and more! There is no run of the mill Glorantha --
and if you're saying that the atmosphere of playing Wenderian Pelanda is the
same as Apple Lane, then I'm afraid I'll have to disagree. Glorantha offers
so much diversity, so much background to be expanded upon, that it is
impossible to narrow campaigns into "normal" and "bizarre".

 As for analyzing the mythical and social implications of Glorantha, this is
certainly part of playing in such a richly described world. But it *isn't*
the be all and end all. Other themes can take part. And just because you
play in a high level campaign, doesn't mean this analysis doesn't take
place. Your character is still participating in a community, it's just that
it's bigger!

>I was commenting on Simons signature which was
>something like: 'Taking power-gaming to new levels"

Me thinks that was a joke?

>Well maybe its just me but I like to have heights I can't reach, it keeps me
>reaching even harder but I'd be bored if I reached em.

 Again, this is just an expression that you have no wish to play in a high
level campaign. It does not, however, mean that such a campaign is unGloranthan.

>When you stop the Herowars, you stop the destruction of the moon which
stops the
>creation of the white moon, the return of Dara Happan power, the freeing of
>Shargash etc. When you kill Harrek, you no longer kill Jar-eel which means the
>Empire is likely to secure its borders and conquer Maniria and presumably a lot
>more after that.

 Stop it? It hasn't happened yet. I take all of Gloranthan history and myth
with a pinch of salt, but the history of the future can be completley
ignored IMHO, otherwise things just wouldn't be fun.

>At that scale, the cause and effect knock-ons become overwhelming. Changing a
>clans politics has much less impact except within the local area. It might
>change history a little but it won't unravel the whole mythic and historical
>weave that makes Glorantha so damn interesting.

 It might. It'd be fun finding out. You'd defintely get a look in at what
happened at the end of the Second Age. God-Learner campaign anyone? :)

>Harrek and the others must have a defence against criticals because the laws of
>probability indicate that they would be very dead by now otherwise.

 A critical doesn't spell instant death IMO. It never has to my players, and
they are mere initiates and apprentice sorcerors. The critical makes it
*possible*. It means that you have a chance. If you're relying on luck to
kill Harrek, you are stuffed. You need a plan, and a band of Heros armed to
the teeth with Rune Magic and Sorcery, who have also ambushed Harrek have
that chance.

All IMO,

Nick E. (who, having witnessed the incompetence of most of his players ever
doubts he'll get to run a high level campaign :-) )
Nick the Broo Shaman of Thed
http://www.personal.u-net.com/~eff

    "If absolute power corrupts absolutely,
     where does that leave God?"
                -- George Daacon

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