Sergio's Trolls; Balastor's Blanks

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Sat 24 Jan 1998 - 14:20:19 EET

*Now* he tells us!

Sergio belatedly writes:

> Notice that the notion that trolls eat anything, including sentient =

> creatures is not present IMG. Yes, most everybody accepts it, I don't.

Why don't you mention little nuance-ettes like this *before* getting
into heavy discussions, mate? If we aren't talking about the same trolls
(that is, if everyone else is talking about Gloranthan trolls and you're
talking about these ones, unique to your campaign), no wonder we're not
communicating very well.

Re: Balastor's Blanks

Richard (now-we-know-who-he-is) writes:

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

Me too. And puzzled, as I *still* can't see what your problem is.

> 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.

Well, don't do that, then, and everything will be just fine and dandy.

> ...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.

I'm honestly trying, but I can't see what kind of repercussions would
impact on the mainstream Hero Wars events. Unless you're being extre-
mely allusive, that is. The final, climactic battles between Harrek
and Jar-eel, Argrath and the Red Moon, are not only documented in an
extremely vague, flexible fashion (making them easily adapted to your
own campaign's requirements), they also don't have any hard dates or
significant prerequisites attached (other than the survival of the
protagonists up to the relevant moment). So whether or not your PCs
have enjoyed playing "Bring Me The Head Of Termain Osboropo" (or
whoever it may be), you're hardly impacting on "Argrath's Saga"...
unless you deliberately set the scenario up that way. In which case,
you gotta do the Orlanthi thing: accept responsibility for what you
did to the world, then change it to make things better.

> 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.

Hokay, let's count the number of rune levels in Glorantha -- say, 1% of
total cult membership, as a guesstimate? Now, how many of these do you
suppose will be in the god-destroying business? Not just *today*, mind:
stretch your answer back throughout Gloranthan history. Then compare
the number you work out with the number that you'd estimate based on =

recorded history. Hmmm... looks like most rune level guys *don't* go
around eradicating the likes of Thanatar, Kyger Litor, etc. (Pity).

> 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.

Surely, that is your choice, your right, and your privilege. But your
campaign goals do sound rather unusual -- so, although I can see that
the "Blank Events" etc. concepts might be handy for someone gaming at
your level (i.e. god-destroying, but wanting to retain consistency with
as-yet-unpublished scenarios, background, fiction, etc.) I doubt that's
a large enough share of the gaming market to make it worth anyone's
while going out of their way to accommodate it.

> I wanted to use the Hero Wars, in all their detail and glory.

Then *do*! (Not that there's much detail; see below).

> I wanted my characters to be part of it without having to re-write it.

You'd have to write it, first. There ain't no year-by-year comprehensive
"Boy King"-style account of the events of the Hero Wars, so don't worry
so much that your game will ride roughshod through one -- it's not going
to happen within the likely lifespan of your current campaign. (If it
does, I'll eat my hat).

Your answers re: the Blank Balastor Event confirm, to me, that this would=

be a grossly inappropriate way to treat scenarios for most of the gaming
groups I have ever known. "This scenario must be played in 1615 ST, and
will self-destruct immediately thereafter. The player character who gets
the Magic Maguffin must invade Russia in the next year with three Panzer
divisions, but will suffer drastic losses outside Kursk and die unmourned=
If the Magic Maguffin is left in the cave, Prince Argrath will not see it=

and be reminded that he left the cakes burning, and Boldhome will fall a
year ahead of schedule, thus derailing the dwarf-made timetable of the
Hero Wars with catastrophic results. In fact, if your players *fail* in
this scenario, you must immediately end the campaign and never set foot
in Glorantha again, as you've completely bolloxed up the shared world."

You do seem to want to dictate the course of events in *everyone else's*
campaigns, in order that your own can be assured of "consistency". But
why? Not only have *none* of the PCs I have known ever heard of a single
solitary one of the Great God-Bothering Heroes from your games; they've
also probably been to the same places (at different times) and retrieved
the same treasures (for different purposes). It's kinda inherent in havin=
these yummy published scenarios to play with.

> Must there have been a Giant Cradle in 1621?

Nope. Could be any convenient year for your campaign. 1621 is when it
happens in Chaosium's timeline; that's all. Would your life be ruined
if it didn't happen 'til 1622?

> Must there have been an invasion from Pent?

"Have been"? It's somewhere off in the future for most games, AFAIK:
we have no firm dates for it, and no account of the events (other than
the "Sheng Returns" stuff from KoS) -- so if you do want to use this,
you'll have to make up most of what happens yourself. (NB: the author
of "Tarsh War", Chris Gidlow, has written a sequel called "Revolt In
The Redlands", which was played at RQ-Con in Canada; we haven't yet
got to run it over here, but I'm looking forward to it greatly!).

> Must there have been an attack on Sog City by Harrek the Berserk?

That's a historic event from the 1620 POV, so I'd say "yes". OTOH, if
I was running a Fronelan campaign in the sixteen-teens, the PCs would
have a chance of avoiding this, or changing history. What difference
does it really make, in the long run, whether or not Harrek sacks Sog?
We don't know of any special magical powers or treasures or wounds he
got from this; we don't know that the city was particularly worse (or
better) off after the sack; it gets just a few mentions in our Guide
to Sog City (the USC Conference Guide), which could easily be changed;
in short, I can't see that it matters much one way or the other, from
most games' perspective. How would the main action of the Hero Wars be
affected if he hadn't sacked Sog?

> I need someone else to look after the big picture for me - but give
> me some nice juicy hooks for my PCs to adventure.

Well, send us *real* questions (not hypotheticals), and see what comes
back. We caught that "Scandinavian Mongols" one before you wasted much
time on it, IIRC...

> 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.

Uh... what are they? I honestly don't know. What I *do* know is that
it's damned unlikely that any player in one of my games or freeforms
would be able single-handedly to derail the Hero Wars. At the worst,
perhaps, they could escalate them. Do consider just how much about
the course and outcome of the Hero Wars is either unknown or uncertain,
before you insist on locking us all up in small boxes so that *our*
importunate PCs can't derail *your* campaign's unfolding...

Still looks like an over-reaction to me.



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