Random Thoughts

From: Sandy Petersen (sandyp@idsoftware.com)
Date: Sat 24 May 1997 - 20:08:11 EEST


Frederic Ferro
<< In the mythic structure of this world, the conservatives seem to be
always right : the innovative revolutionaries are always wrong and pawns of
Chaos or self-destruction (Nysalorians, God-Learners, Wyrm Friends,
Lunars). >>

        This is an illusion created by the fact that the Third Age has been one of
non-communication. As a result, the 17th-century societies of Glorantha
lack historical perspective, and believe things have always been done their
way. But an unbiased look at Gloranthan history demonstrates the truth. To
take five examples, three human and two non-human:
        1) Where are the Hsunchen today? Their society once ruled far and wide.
        2) The great success of the Western way of life, which has spread over a
large area of the world, from inauspicious beginnings. Note also the
success of Malkionism as opposed to the conservative Brithini.
        3)
        4) At the Dawn, almost all the world's forests were ruled by Green Elves.
No longer. This represents fundamental changes in the way that the elf
culture is structured, organized, and ruled.
        5) Dwarf heresy has prospered. It didn't even exist pre-Dawn.

Me
> 2) No extant Gloranthan culture holds to this (subjectivist) belief.

V.S. Greene
>Couldn't Illuminates hold such a belief? Potentially, that is. MIght be
>something to try in a game.
        _Anyone_ can hold to such a belief. But so far all Gloranthan _cultures_
that have become wholly subjectivist have died out. The closest to a modern
Gloranthan subjectivist culture are the East Islanders, who are highly
tolerant of others' peculiar ways.

Joseph Troxell
>What I don't like is stuff like, "Are Elmal and Yelmalio the same diety?"
>Either they are, or they're not.
        Why? I can think of a number of different possibilities rin which they're
neither the same god nor different gods.

Stephen P. Martin
>I was wondering if anyone had any ideas as to what Leaping Bears are?
        Bear-dogs. An extinct mammal on Earth, but not Prax, in keeping with the
general Pleistocene biology of Genertela.

Lunar Techno-Magical Superiority
        The Lunars have demonstrated a definite superiority over the other
nations they've been in contact. This is not just because their magic is
more sophisticated, but is even more the result of the manner in which they
have integrated magic into their social and military systems.
        It's not the TYPE of magic the Lunars use, it's HOW they use it.

Chris Bell
>Why were the Lunars defeated all the way across Prax, and at Dragon Pass,
when >Argrath Dragonspear brought his new (old?) secrets to the people?
        Because they were outnumbered, outgeneraled, riddled with internal
dissension, and because Argrath had realized that the secret of Lunar
military success was the Magic Regiment. Before the Lunars, no one
regularly organized magicians into specialty units. They had magicians in

their armies, of course, but they were scattered thinly. Example -- under
the organized military forces of Old Sartar and Old Tarsh, every regiment
had its own staff of priests; civilian adjuncts to the military. Of course,
some groups, like the Stormwalkers and Cannibal Virgins, were composed
almost entirely of magicians, but this was almost by happenstance. The
Lunar innovation was to take the priests and group them together into their
own units. In DRAGON PASS terms, to simulate the old style of army, take
the Sartarite army and remove all the magic regiments (except for
specialists like the Stormwalkers and Wasp Riders). Add a point or two to
the other regiments; Magic Factors to simulate the incorporation of extra
magicians. Such an army would clearly be at a disadvantage when fighting a
Lunar-style force.
        Argrath spent enormous toil on organizing his own magic regiments in
emulation of the Lunar technique, and it paid off.

>Can a person in Central Genertela slide by without becoming an initiate?
        Yes. He may be considered eccentric and unpleasant, and rightly so.
Picture a child growing up in a small conservative Catholic village in
Mexico (Italy, Ireland, etc.). What would the people say if, when he
reached the appropriate age, he refused to take First Communion, wouldn't
learn his catechism, and refused to attend church ever again? It would be
the scandal of the town. When he grew to manhood, it would no longer be a
scandal, but the more "decent" folks may well ostracize him, and it might
be hard for him to get a date. He'd get in a few more fistfights down at
the tavern than other guys. You get the idea. But he wouldn't be thought
insane.
        For that matter, a person who decided to go so strongly against what all
his friends and neighbors believed WOULD be rather eccentric, mule-headed,
and self-righteous.

>For the Agnostic/Atheist in Central Genertela who wants naught to do with
the >Gods, are there any options?
        Sure. You could become the village freethinker, a crusading heretic, or a
philosopher. There's plenty of magic available to a non-worshiper. Go to
wild shamans, wandering spirits, witch-women, and their like to learn
magic. Life will be harder, of course. What did you expect? If you decided
to try to live without ever using metal, sticking to just stone and wood,
life would be hard, too.

>How did Argrath organize his armies?
        He followed the traditional Old Sartar regimental model, basing many (but
not all) regiments on actual regiments from the good old days. He also
organized new units (such as the Egg Thieves, Eaglebrown Warlocks, etc.) to
become his magical units.

>Did he use the Empire of the Wyrm's Friends as a model?
        No.

>How did the EWF organize their armies, by the by?
        After the manner of a gigantic organism. In an EWF army, one unit would
represent the brain, another the spinal cord. Others would be the claws,
sting, tail, torso, genitalia, wings, etc. They would operate together as
if they were a single being, each performing only its own function, but in
cooperation with all the rest.

>If the old EWF and Lunar Empire were to somehow meet, who would be the
victor?
        Hell, I'm not even sure who would win if the Lunar Empire met the Kralori
Empire in battle.

Joseph Troxell
>Does anybody have the stats for an Alynx?

ALYNX (Shadow Cat)
characteristic average
STR 2d6 7
CON 2d6+6 13
SIZ 1d6 3-4
INT 5 5
POW 2d6+12 19
DEX 2d6+12 19
        Move 6

>how smart does an animal need to be to cast magic?
        Intelligence has little to do with the ability to cast magic. How smart
does an animal need to be to engage in a mating ritual? Fish, houseflies,
and snails all seem to get the job done. Magic can be as instinctive as any
other function of life. Glorantha is rife with unintelligent yet magical
critters.

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