Re Blank Balastor, etc

From: richard (
Date: Fri 23 Jan 1998 - 13:12:57 EET

First of all can I say it was never my intention to be anonymous. I just
didn't realise my sig had gone west. My email has also changed - I am
the same person who was

I am reaching the conclusion that I cannot play in THE Glorantha - and
I'm a bit disappointed about that.

It isn't that I'm keen to set up high powered games - it's just that I
am reluctant to set up a campaign where high-powered actions are
ultimately not possible. I would say that playing one evening a week for
about 6 months should see characters ultimately able to do small but
significant things in the world. 6 months, maybe a year later, we could
have some Rune-level people around. What are they going to do?

Many years ago I came into a campaign as GM where there was already a
large experienced contingent of Rune-level characters plus initiates. 18
characters in all, spread over about 10 players. They were only likely
to be attracted to adventure by some sort of major quest and I put
together an epic called "The Return of The Severed Head" (which you can
guess what it was about). Now, as it happens, they suffered sufficient
casualties on the way that they had to turn back; it's not my intention
to make this sort of thing easy.

Now my whole rationale about what had happened to this head was
basically very different to THE Glorantha - so there's already some
divergence. However, if this Head was either returned or destroyed there
would be tremendous repercussions in the world, and it's unlikely I
would be able to use the existing Hero Wars stuff without a lot of
rework on my part.

Now you could say that's my own fault for running a campaign with such a
major theme to it - but you know, rune level guys like to do that kind
of thing. It's what gets them away from spending 90% of their time
dusting the temple candelabras.

Now as soon as my new campaign reaches that stage I'm going to start
having to re-write more and more of the published stuff - especially
anything that looks forward from my campaign date. This is what
disappoints me. I wanted to use the Hero Wars, in all their detail and
glory. I wanted my characters to be part of it without having to
re-write it.

Oh well.

Thanks for the various answers to my last post. I would like to try to
answer you now:

re Tarsh War et al: I am trying to get hold of this.

re Ballastor's Axe:

> OK, then: why are we "unknown"? Must this happen in 1618? Do we have
> to write the high priest of Pavis out of our campaign in that year?

Yes to all of this.

> What if we happen not to be in Pavis that year, or start our campaign
> in 1620 -- does someone else "unknown" complete the scenario then,
> before we even get started?


> Won't defining Balastor's return and
> objectives take some of the mystery and fun out of the game? And,
> above all, what do you achieve by defining the date of his death?

This is no different to any of the other established occurences of
Glorantha. Must there have been a Giant Cradle in 1621? Must there have
been an invasion from Pent? Must there have been an attack on Sog City
by Harrek the Berserk? Yes, there must, or the events of the Hero Wars
cant happen.

> You see: you can start with the best will in the world, but you're
> still better off leaving well enough alone. The scenario posits a
> finding of Balastor's Axe, makes it clear that this would be a *big*
> political/mythical event, then leaves it up to the GM what happens
> next.

ISTM that is a *really* big task for the GM.

> If the whole future history of our scenarios has to be defined
> (in order to make them into "Blank Events"), then we're far more
> limited in our gaming than at present.

It might limit you, it would *enable* me. You probably know Glorantha so
well that you could allow PCs to do pretty much anything, including
giving them some pretty major quests, and figure out all the
repercussions throughout the world and throughout upcoming events. Your
world would still feel perfectly consistent and beautiful even if some
lucky PC torched the cradle before anyone else saw it. Maybe whoever's
floating the thing down would just send down another one (I mean - what
a *weird* thing to do to your children!). I could make a guess/decision
as to what to do but I'll probably start screwing things up. Maybe there
can only be one cradle; I don't know.

That's a big part of the problem - there's too much I don't know.
There's an awful lot unpublished as well. That's why I need someone else
to look after the big picture for me - but give me some nice juicy hooks

for my PCs to adventure.

> As it stands, a PC has a very
> good chance of becoming the first Rune Lord of the Pavis Cult since
> 1240 or so... but to make this a formal "Blank Event" we'd have to
> state that he/she was "unknown", did it in a certain year, went on
> to achieve certain other deeds, and -- apparently -- perished at a
> certain future date and place. Not what I'd call ideal.

You wouldn't need to go that far. All you really need to do is state the
events which have to happen in order for the well-thought-through Hero
War saga (or any other saga) to take place.

> After all: when was the Wind Sword found, and who by, and what did
> ...
> Who was the bridegroom at the Wedding at Cana? And so on.

This is all fine as long as there isn't anything I could do here to mess
up events in the rest of the world.

> We throw ideas out into the world; other people can pick and choose
> from the ones they want to use. If, instead, we documented the only
> permissable outcome to every scenario and future-historical event,
> then we'd be confining the world to a limiting straitjacket.

Unfortunately if you want to provide a campaign which includes a
developing saga, i.e. you're not just giving a setting, you're giving a
*future*, especially where that future is a culmination of events which
have made the setting (and, dont get me wrong, I think you're providing
a very beautiful thing in doing this), then I as recipient of that
campaign accept that I will have to have some straight-jacketting. If I
disagree with that then I can have the "setting" but not the "future".
However, my complaint is still that the straight-jacketting is too much,
and I seem to be being told that either I accept it as it is or I
discard the "future".

I don't see any problem with questioning this, especially at this
juncture in the history of Glorantha.

> Given
> Richard ???'s apparent desire to graft D&D species, scenarios and
> god-killing adventures onto Glorantha, I truly doubt that compati-
> bility with "Glorantha as She is Spoke" is his primary gaming goal.


Don't be too put off by my references to AD&D stuff. I like to have
available as much material as I possibly can so that I don't have to
funnel my PCs adventure to adventure.


- --
Richard Develyn Tel: (UK)-1732-743591
Principal Architect / Development Manager Fax: (UK)-1732-743597
Network People International


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