Jimmys, Armor, Sonar

From: James Frusetta (gerakkag@wam.umd.edu)
Date: Fri 31 Jan 1997 - 08:07:53 EET


Jane Williams asks:
>Which one calls everyone "Jimmy"?
Why, the Dread Aunts, of course. You continue to call you "Jimmy" forever,
and ever, and ever.... (a very disgruntled James, am I).

James Turner writes:
> Aww come on, somebody please answer my armour question!
I can give it a shot.

> I thought that this was a forum for anyone to ask questions about
I can say, with my limited experience (I've been getting the Digest in its
incarnations since '93, but rarely posted until the last few months) that
you can always ask questions, but sometimes people aren't interested in
responding. :( It bites, but is true. I'm _still_ dying to have a chat
about the Gloranthan use of field artillery engines on the battlefield,
but when I brought it up, it sank like a lead balloon. :(

_Does_ seem like ol' Yelmy gets more than his fair share of attention,
though. I mean, the compromise would demand an equal number of threads
for Zorak Zoran... <g>

>Back in RQ2 Glorantha was described as analogous to a bronze age world.
The net sages with better lores than I probably know more on this, but I
thought Elder Secrets danced around this -- Bronze isn't "our" bronze, but
similar to it? Iron isn't "our" iron, etc? So it gets tricky trying to
make comparisons.

Toss out the Bronze Age world bit -- the mere fact that there's a proper
stirrup pretty much shatters a lot of comparisons to RW bronze age
warfare. I _think_ there's a Classical historian here, that can
probably comment on this better than I. One of the English gentlemen...?
Or am I just horribly confused?

>Then RQ3 came out and was modeled to a medieval world where the weapons
>and armour were steel. I presumed this accounted for the rise in AP andw!
>the huge increase in cost for the metal armour. Now in the presently
>described Glorantha what does everyone run around in?
Even in Greek/Roman times, armor was expensive. Hoplite armor was the
reserve of the rich. Roman infantry in the Republic wore a brass
breastplate, a metal helmet (or sometimes leather) and carried a
metal-edged shield -- because this stuff was _expensive._ I think the
increased costs were justified. Note that a lot of the ancient armies
made more use of linen, not metal, because it was both too hot and too
expensive! (Hey, where'd linen go in RQ3, you net sages?)

And don't forget -- Protection means that you're almost better off wearing
the lighter armor in RQ3. Fatigue is a killer. Take light armor, and
enhance it in the tough spots, if you can, with Prot.

>From GCotHW you get the impression that in the west everyone has
>medieval style armour but unenchanted iron stops magic which means all
I got the impression it's the tiny minority of knights, with a punch of
badly armored and equipped ground-pounding peons, myself. But (again, I
invite the net sages to step in on this, 'cause I'm probably wrong) I
thought Seshnela simply has a greater supply of the iron bones of the
gods, and thus has more access, to supply it's tiny fraction of knights?

>fortune. For people armoured like Greeks and Romans in makes less sense.
I'd have to disagree -- the Greek gear was expensive. You _could_ pass it
down, however, so your son wouldn't have to buy new gear (unless you lost
it in battle, frex). Roman gear wasn't cheap, either.

I do agree some of the pricing seems to be off, in some cases, but I've
never sat down and tried to fudge things. Any suggestions?

Daniel McCluskey on Sonar:
> First, I really think that the "carrier" of darksense should be
> darkness I realize that this conflicts with TrollPack, but I have a
> VERY hard time with the Trolls primary sense requiring air to work... It
On the flip side, it seems hard to believe trolls could survive if it
required darkness. Perhaps it simply works better in darkness? I like the
idea, but how do you "play" this? Trolls are simply, well, shafted on
sunny days? Ugh.
'Sides, who says that troll's sonar needs air? I mean, if we're gonna
worry about that, then doesn't it make it odd that trolls need air to
breathe? If they do, then you have to conclude there was air in
Wonderhome? Etc. I like the RW mechanisms because they help to explore how
darksense might work, but there's no need to shackle it to sound.

> sonar waves also has many MGF side effects... Trolls see poorly in
> daylight -- they have to use their eyes... very confusing to them. This
Trolls _always_ see poorly -- those eyes don't work for much inside a
kilometer, if I recall. With uzuz it's worse. I like the idea of a
"darkness" carrier, but it seems hard to reconcile with trolls as they
function. Hmmm. Maybe you could make some sort of case that Sound is the
Darkness sense? (With Sight being the Fire/Light sense, maybe Touch as
the Earth sense... Dunno. Might be something there). And that in
Glorantha, Sound is not dependent on air?

> This also makes it possible to use shades to interfere with troll
> vision, instead of sylphs. (I can't imagine that any uzuz would NOT
> have summon and command Sylph if darksence moved through the air)
Nah, just adjust the return image to account for this stoopid sylph in
the way. Or call your local Subere priestess (who _does) have command
Sylph, as well as Command Everything Else) to give it the boot.

> Secondly, it is very difficult for a troll to read human writings, due
> to ink being imperceptable to darksense (This also explains the common
Ah! It's not always, IMO. Trolls can "see" textures, right? So as long as
the ink is a clearly different texture than the writing surface, the troll
can "see" it as texture X on texture Y. No problem at all, unless the ink
and the paper are very close in texture.

> Darktroll mistake of considering books and scrolls to be food.) It can
Mistake? Listen, have you ever _read_ them Lhankor Mhy books? Any good
troll can tell you, eating is a much better use of 'em. <urp> Reason #32
why trolls make better graduate students...

> Third, how does the fact that trolls primary sence organ is their
> nose/jaw (to aim/focus their sonar) translate into troll culture -- a
<snip>
I think you could smash the jaw, and not cause any harm (well, more harm)
- -- a broken jaw can still aim. Now, getting a ear torn, or a
concussion, that'd be a _real_ problem.

> implys an increased importance (or at least incidence) of healing magic
> amongst the trolls, as it seems to be universally agreed that fiticuffs
> (or general bashing of each other) is far more common in troll societies
> than human.
Mmm, I was the dissenter on the Uz are Violent Thread. Look at the Storm
Bulls, or yer average bunch of drunken Sartarites. Heck, broken bones were
_very_ common among pre-historic man, and among hunters. I do think that
trolls might have certain healing powers Humans lack -- some sort of
"teeth healing" (regrowing lost canines/incisors) must be critical,
considering how much they eat, the presence of a bite attack, etc. Maybe
also some sort of power to "block" out annoying noise? Ibuprofen for those
nasty headaches you get from darksense? <g>

MOB on trollball:
Nah, us trolls don't use newts when it rains, we use ducks. 'Course, you
gotta tape their beaks shut before you start play, but it's still more
fun that way. Especially with the cute little Humakti ones.

------------------------------

End of Glorantha Digest V4 #142
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