Cradles; Sergio on Elder Races (yawn)

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Tue 20 Jan 1998 - 23:55:11 EET

Richard ? writes:

> Well, I read and I read and I read and I never seem to reach the
> end of all the information available on Glorantha.

Good! If you ever did, something would be Horribly Wrong.

> I've done an awful lot of reading about Pavis, Prax and the Wastes.
> I could almost run a campaign here...

If you want to rely on published material, this is the single best
place to do it. Chuck in "Sun County", "River of Cradles", "Shadows
on the Borderlands", "Strangers in Prax", Tales #14 & 15 and Drastic
Resolutions Vol. Prax, and you have oodles of material to play with!

> The Giant Cradle [is] an event which I would definately want my
> adventurers involved in. I don't understand why that scenario was
> not re-published...

Try: page-count (almost 40)? Power level, relative to other material
in print (intended for Rune Lords, unlike other Prax/Valley scenarios)?
Or the low value to long-time RQ players of reprinting an old scenario
(note that adventures, though rare for RQ in modern times, nevertheless
sell worse than just about anything else: after all, in a group of half
a dozen players, maybe all of them will want the rulebook, half of them
will want the Cults book, and *one* of them will want to be GM and buy
the scenarios -- and if they're reprints, too...)?

Now, if you have a pressing need to know what happened, ask us here
and see what answers you get. Nobody's likely to post the stats for
the Third Wyvern-Riding Lunar Assault Priest From The Left, but I'd
imagine you'll get a bunch of useful information just by asking.

> I'm thinking of starting things up in Pent - since it feels almost
> a blank land whose only contribution to the Gloranthan saga is the
> occasional invasion by the (mongol) barbarian hordes. Pent seems
> like a good place to transport the AH Vikings box set.

Am I alone in detecting a monstrous non-sequitur here? You correctly
identify Pent as a homeland of Mongol-like nomad hordes of horsemen,
then leap to the conclusion that "Vikings" is a good published model
that could profitably be transplanted there... My brain aches.

> I like a Scandinavian look and feel.

Try one of the un-detailed Orlanthi lands, perhaps off in Fronela
(with neighbouring Germanic kingdoms, valkyrie-like warrior women,
longships out of Yggs Isles, etc.). Also "almost a blank land", as
bugger-all has been published about these people in any detail.

> I'm determined to shove the AD&D Giants/Drow stuff in there some-
> where - what could Lolth be I wonder?

Do I detect a truly monstrous troll?
Do I detect a truly monstrous troll?
(Repeat intentional)

Sergio responds to Yours Truly:

>> To me, the natural antagonism between Elder Races -- mutually
>> and toward humankind -- is an all-too-welcome feature of Glorantha.
>> Compared, at least, with all the *other* FRP games on the market,
>> where the only significant differences between player-character
>> species are ear size, toe hair, and precise range of infravision...

> The problem is that the way Gloranthan elder races are described
> these days, makes them unsuited to be acceptable 'player-character
> species'. So you get in the same situation prevalent in '*other*
> FRP games on the market' where most of the non-human races are
> simply NPC cannon-foder for PCs.

You'd rather have them be PCs, with human motivations, biology, etc.?
Once again, Sergio, you really can't have your cake and eat it. Either
ask for "more human-like" Elder Races, or else complain that they are
"too human-like", but don't do both at once. It looks peculiar.

Trolls are *ideal* player characters, and I know I'm not the only
person here to have run a Troll game with great enjoyment all round.
Rootless elves likewise, and the hilarity value of a "broken" dwarf
is easy to see: look at the "Elder Secrets" dwarf scenario-sequence.

But if you want green-skinned gobboes and pointy-eared woofters and
Scandinavian stunties, you know where you can find them. The great
thing about the Gloranthan Elder Races is their uniqueness: they
can fit into the world *because* they're a part of it, not because

some hack author with too much time on his hands decided to invent
*yet another* way of spelling "Elf", "Orc", etc. I would rather have
Glorantha with all its originality -- even the f***ing Ducks -- than
fall back on stock High Fantasy cliches, pretending their "archetypal"
quality (trans: "I got it from Tolkien") makes up for the gross lack
of imagination, depth and colour.

> Making elder races behave in silly ways (and IMO this is what most
> recent materials about dwarfs, trolls and elves achieve)...

Oooooohhhh! Gosh, there's a fearless and outspoken chap. Let's all
listen to his account of things: it'll be *so* much better than this
silly little game we've all been playing for far too long... :-)

Now, onto Sergio's startlingly original suggestions for Glorantha:

> Different species can live side by side very well if they can
> build a viable common ecosystem....

Such as? Well, luckily, Sergio has some examples for us:

> - Dwarves living underground with human settlements on the surface.

        cf. Pavis (Flintnail), Kitor (Third Eye Blue "dwarf slaves"),
            Iron Mountains (regular/regulated trade with Seshnelans),
            Slon (dwarf masters with human slaves)...

> - Elf forests with human settlements around.

        cf. Maslo (human coastal cities amid the elf jungles of the
            Elamle peninsula), Rathorela (friendly relations between
            the Bear Tribe and the aldryami of the forest), Teshnos
            (friendly relations between elves and human population),
            Umathela (elves as overlords over human tribes)...

> - Trolls living with humans.

        cf. the Kitori tribe, Safelster (and the Dark Empire), the
            Only Old One's Kingdom of Night, the Torkani Tribe, the
            Kingdom of Ignorance (Kralori ruling trollkin), the Blue
            Moon Plateau (best not go into that one)...

Gee, thanks for all those wonderful new ideas! What a shame I wasted
my money on that silly supplement Elder Races, which didn't include
anything like that for me to get my teeth into.

Look, Sergio: once again you've made a lot of noise about what seems
to be nothing to get upset about. If you don't have any recent RQ
supplements (which, on the face of it, might explain your apparent

lack of information), it looks foolish to denounce all their contents
as "silly". If you do have them, it's equally foolish to ignore all
that they contain, and proceed as if they confirmed your own, self-
generated, nightmare scenarios ("The Lunar Empire's been turned into
a direct copy of the Persians!" "There aren't any places in Glorantha
where the Elder Races coexist with humanity!").

Whatever next?



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