Re: Elder Races

From: Sergio Mascarenhas (
Date: Thu 22 Jan 1998 - 14:46:08 EET

NIck Brooke:
>> you seem to think that dwarfs - if "broken" - can be played in a
>> mixed party provided you integrate them in the party because of
>> their *hilarity value*. Do I spot here a value scale?
> The Mostali dwarfs were intentionally written to be a parody of
> industrialised factory-age culture: it wasn't for nothing that
> the seminal article on the race (by Greg Stafford, in Different
> Worlds #24) was called, "Why I Dislike Mostali". [skip]

Interesting, didn't know about it. IMO (and I'm quite aware I'm alone on
this) this is unfortunate. I love Glorantha because it is (or most of it
is) a window for a new and misterious world. Things like the one above
destroy my suspention of desbilief. If I want 'a parody of industrialised
factory-age culture', I'll just pick a Charlot movie.

> Note that I've seen a highly amusing -- yes, it's that "fun" thing
> again: Gods, does the man think of nothing else when he's playing
> games -- scenario by Mike McGloin and Oliver Jovanovic, set in an
> orthodox Mostali society, where the PCs are all secretly heretical.
> This borrowed heavily from the idioms of the "Paranoia" RPG

Sometime ago I compared Orthodox Mostali to the "Paranoia" RPG. You just
confirmed my intuition. The problem is that if I want to play "Paranoia"
I'll play it, not Glorantha. If I play both it's for fun, only that its two
different ways of having fun and I don't like to mix them or I'll stop to
have fun (desclaimer: I'm talking about Myself not about Everybody in
general or Nick in particular :-).

> So all the dwarf PCs try to *look* "holier than thou" -- ultra-
> orthodox, above suspicion, etc. -- in order not to be suspected
> of deviance by the Nidan Conclave (Paranoia players would say,
> "The Computer"). (But maybe that's too enjoy-able for the apparent
> Portuguese role-playing idiom?)

Let us see with an example if I catch your concept:
An old barber I know told-me what happened to him in 1940. He was working
in a barber-shop and a client - an important person in the Portuguese
right-wing dictatorship that survived until the 70s - asked him who he
thought would win the war: Britain or Germany. He tried to avoid the
question, but finally answered that it would be Britain. Everybody laughed.
By the end of the week the owner of the shop (who liked him a lot) told him
he would have to go away (a certain important client had advised him on
that sense). Is that enjoy-able enough?

I mean, I see Glorantha as a place for tragedy, drama, epic action. I
prefer not to use it for tragy-comedy or "Opera Buffa".

> It's obviously easier for GMs to run scenarios and campaigns where
> every player shares common objectives. This is why single-culture
> (and single-cult) adventures and scenarios are usually so much more
> interesting than generic dungeon-bashes

I agree that it's easier, but I don't think that playing multi-culture or
multi-cult adventures results in generic dungeon-bashes. This means that
 there can be more complexity and a more envolving playing experience. It
all depends on the players.

>> [skip the demonstration that my examples could perfectly be
>> applied in Glorantha]
> That's the point: it's not a "demonstration of your examples", it's
> a flat statement of accepted Gloranthan background, much of which
> can be found in the major recent source for the Elder Races. But you
> wrote this off as "silly" (why?), and proposed "your examples" as,
> one is forced to presume, some novel alternative.

a) The 'why' question: the problem Nick is that I am trying to keep my
messages small (not this one). This means that sometimes I can't develop my
arguments as much as I would like. This may result in unsustained
b) On the 'flat statement': all your accepted Gloranthan background can be
read in the sense that different races cooperate or that different races
fight eachother (and both things can be true in different moments in time).
c) About the 'novel alternative': I was reacting to postings to GD that
suggested that different cultures and races in Glorantha act in an
Hobbesian way (you know, man is the mans wolf). I was only trying to give
some rational for different behaviors. Also a) aplies here.
d) What did we all get from this discussion? It become much more clear that
reality in Glorantha (in what concerns inter-racial interaction) is not all
black or white. There are shades that the reactions to Pasanen postings
were not bringing up to light.

>> After all, Nick, it wasn't me that wrote:
>> - That trolls are like head-bangers (remenber the discussion about
>> troll music?)
>> - About the *hilarity value of a "broken" dwarf*
>> - About the *the f***ing Ducks*
>> - About heavily RW-human-based sexuality for trolls
>> - About trolls eating what-ever-you-like *'a l'orange*
>> and other very, very human inspired cliches... :-)
> Sadly, it wasn't. I live in hope that your contributions will, in
> time, be as amusing and interesting as these bygone gems. :-)

BTW, does the Nidan Conclave allow dwarfs to have different cuts of their
beards? And do dwarfs sleep with their berds below or above their



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