More on Blank Heros/Events

From: richard (rad@nwpeople.com)
Date: Wed 21 Jan 1998 - 12:58:03 EET


I would just like to explore this idea further with you if I may.

It occured to me after I wrote the last post that the concept of Blank
Events already exists in another Chaosium game - Call of Cthulhu.

In CoC you are encouraged to provide explanations for hitherto
unexplained events - e.g. Marie Celeste. Of course, we are in the Real
World now and fairly secure that no one is likely to publish an official
explanation of the Marie Celeste in the near future. The point remains
that being able to integrate cleanly player adventures and established
living history is very attractive.

Just because Glorantha is imaginary doesn't mean a similar thing isn't
possible.

I'm a great fan of James Burke and his "Connections" series of books and
TV programs. He sees history as a web of threads and events - events
lead to other events along threads. Sometimes an event is on a single
thread, sometimes many. His books take particular threads, generally
unusual ones, and trace them through (i.e. how the Spanish Armada made
everyone think how important a navy was -which-caused- great naval
fleets to be built -which-caused- de-forestation and a shortage of
charcoal for the glass industry -which-caused- them to develop coal
fired glass making -which-caused- them to develop flint glass which
could be made in a covered pot (avoiding coal impurities) -which-caused-
clear flat glass to be made -which-caused- the sextant to be made
(needed a very small accurate mirror) ... and so on ).

Now Gloranthan history is a similar web of events and threads. In order
for the web to work certain things must happen at certain times. Now I
would like to see some of those events left deliberately blank though
their effect on other events, their repercussions along the web, are
documented. Like the "mysteries" (and that maybe a better term for them)
that we have in our own history.

I would like to see a catalogue of mysteries, major and minor, whose
effect on the history of Glorantha is well documented and integrated.
It's the integration which holds the key and makes the whole Gloranthan
role playing experience, IMO, a richer one. Of course, we are all free
as GMs to modify the world however we like, but that misses the point.

It would be like running a CoC campaign where, say, the Titanic didn't
sink, or the Aztecs weren't wiped out, or Margaret Thatcher lost the '79
election (ok - that's going a bit far :-) ).

This would give us a clean way of running major adventures which are
guranteed not just to not tread on the toes of the rest of Glorantha but
also to become part of it.

Please note that I'm not saying I need it, and I'm not hobbled by not
having it. It's just a suggestion.

Richard

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