Mysteries

From: richard (rad@nwpeople.com)
Date: Thu 22 Jan 1998 - 12:52:26 EET


I feel I'm almost there, but not quite (I promise I'll give up soon).

Nick, you said:

> You mean you can't? Here's four to be going on with. AFAIK, you
> can feel free to make up your own "answers" (for your own game,
> natch), and needn't fear contradiction so long as you preserve
> them as "Mysteries" in your Glorantha -- that is, even if you

and then you described four nice examples.

What I am basically asking for is ownership of those mysteries, just as
I am effectively given ownership of the Blank Lands.

I am beggining to reach the conclusion that Glorantha is a very
un-PC-centric campaign. Maybe I'm wrong, but most of the published
scenarios I've read dont have the PCs doing anything at all significant
in the world. There is one exception which I'll come back to.

This attitude seems to be typified by the (still excellent) Strangers in
Prax pack. It's the NPCs who are the real heroes - the real movers and
shakers of the Gloranthan world. When I thought about the answer to my
Hero Wars question (i.e. it's NPCs who are going to doing this, not PCs)
I realised just how far I think this has gone.

The standard answer to this sort of criticism seems to be - well, it's
your world, do with it what you like. It's a sort of hand washing. But
Glorantha isn't my world and I don't want it to be. I haven't got the
time or, I expect, the skill to fashion a large believable consistent
world. That's why I chose Glorantha for my return to RPGs, and why I'm
spending time and money on all this Gloranthan background. I want my PCs
to be part of THE Glorantha. Furthermore I want them to be able to play

a significant part in THE Glorantha. This was what all these Blank
Hero/Event/Mysteries chatter of mine has been all about.

Now to return to the one example that I know when PCs have been allowed
to do something of note: Ballastor's Barracks. I have the original
scenario but I understand it reappeared in Big Rubble. WOW! The PCs
*actually* get to find Ballastor's Axe and *actually* get to reinstate
Ballastor back in Pavis. Funny how we don't get to hear much more about
this event, though, like say in Strangers in Prax / Lunar Coders
scenario. So, in the official Glorantha, does Ballastor get back to
Pavis or doesn't he? Methinks not.

Yet here we have a prime example of how this sort of thing could be done
(note I'm making this up):

"Aided by adventure(s) unknown, Ballastors Axe returns to Pavis in the
year 1618. Ballastor then takes over the body of the local Pavis priest
and begins the process of re-populating the rubble / kicking out the
Lunars / kicking out the Orlanthi / whatever. Finally, Ballastor is once
more slain during the Giant's Cradle scenario by ...."

Published scenarios based in Prax after 1618 would all be written
assuming that Ballastor was back - and could even refer back to the Axe
Incident.

A totally integrated piece of Gloranthan lore with a Blank Event
(guaranteed never explained): how Ballastor's Axe was actually
recovered. Furthermore, the published scenario needn't be used - any GM
could create his own Ballastor's Axe scenario and, as long as it ended
up with the Axe returning to Pavis and Ballastor taking over the Pavis
priest, would fit it beautifully with THE Glorantha. Importantly, for
me, the PCs would have done something *really* significant, not just
trailed around in the wake of the great and the good NPCs of this world.

Can you imagine the AD&D Drow scenarios written in a way in which NPCs
only got to meet Lolth and had a chance of destroying her; where NPCs
were effectively the heroes - PCs relegated to following along helping
out and picking up the pieces. And do you think TSR could have answered
complaints by saying "well, you've bought the thing, change it around so
that it suits your PCs, unfortunately you might become inconsistent with
anything else we publish". Wouldn't wash would it?

Role playing campaigns, particularly (I think) commercial role playing
campaigns, need to have PC actions embedded centrally within them. A
rich campaign like Glorantha will, of course, place restrictions in

order for the Web of History to work (ref: my earlier posting). However
this is no excuse to relegate PCs to the sidelines.

Sorry about the long post.

Richard

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


This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.7 : Fri 13 Jun 2003 - 22:58:40 EEST