Re: Guerrilla Warfare

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Thu 29 Jan 1998 - 12:16:51 EET

I think the proponents of all-out Guerrilla Warfare in occupied
Sartar are overlooking a couple of obvious (but often unstated)

The first one, of course, is that unrestricted guerrilla warfare is
hardly in accordance with Orlanthi (inc. Humakti, etc.) societal
norms -- responsible behaviour, duty to kin, social conscience, etc.
That doesn't mean that psychotic or aberrant "rebels" won't try it
on; it *does* mean that, faced with a choice between assisting such
neo-Gagarthi types (who put themselves outside Heort's Laws by their
actions) or treating them much as you'd treat an invasion by broos,
troll raiders and similar undesirables, the "average" Sartarite is
unlikely to support the guerrilla-style rebels.

The second is that, while (of course) what you get up to in your own
Gloranthan games is a matter for yourself and your players, there
doesn't seem that much of a need for guerrilla mobilisation to "kick
the Lunars out" -- in the established chronology, this is done quite
adequately by a combination of inspired heroquesting and the rebirth
of ancient powers, and is followed by a Nation in Arms, Sartar the
Bold, pluckily facing down the Red Menace across the battleground of
Dragon Pass. Starbrow's and Argrath's Rebellions were open, honest,
tribal uprisings (with magical and priestly backing and support), not
furtive, underhanded, prolonged and embittering secret campaigns.

Years ago, as a GM with players in "occupied" Sartar, I always tried
- -- both in character as "wise old" NPCs, and in conscience/interior
monologue -- to dissuade PCs from courses of action that could rea-
sonably be expected to result in Horrible Unpleasantness descending
upon them and their loved ones. The Lunar Empire may be *bad*, but
that doesn't mean we should emulate it, and encourage or force our
enemies to "do their worst" to our kith and kin, just so they will
share our -- often self-generated -- sense of burning resentment and
disenfranchisement. Remember, the Wind Lords in Iron and Woad who
march around proclaiming armed rebellion against the Lunars who killed
all their kin are the people who'll have no kin to suffer in the after-
math of "another failed uprising" -- bear that in mind at the weapontake.=

We can waffle on about the employment of plague (Malia!) and torture
(Ikadz!) and indiscriminate slaughter (Zorak Zoran!) and terrorism in a
successful guerrilla campaign -- you might find it more profitable to
ask, "What kind of PC wants to fight this kind of war, and why?"

Of course, if you and your players *enjoy* contemplating this vista of
massacre, reprisal, cowardly ambush and inglorious skulking, I'll be
happy to leave you to it. I do think, however, that a more "noble" and
socially-responsible scenario/encounter could be built out of the
interplay between "reasonable" player characters -- be they anti-Lunar,
pro-Sartarite Orlanthi/Humakti patriots or whatever -- and the kind of
conscienceless, remorseless, ignoble, underhanded, villainous shadowy
warriors envisaged in the "guerrilla" post.

"Do you know the trouble your provocations are causing our kinfolk?
Would it be any wonder if we hunted you down like mad dogs, and gave
your heads to the Lunars to avoid their reprisals? Is this Humakt's
way you are following here, or something darker and bloodier by far?"

A final note: of course, the cleverer Lunars are wise to this already.
Look at Fazzur's scapegoating of the Ducks after Starbrow's Rebellion:
a nice way of inviting Sartarite "complicity" in exchange for a tax
break. If guerrilla-style resistance ever becomes a major problem in
one of the Provinces, they're quite capable of dreaming up insidiously
non-military responses to the threat. (Or, of course, sending in the
Bat, General Roan-Ur, the Vampire Legion and the Blue Moonies to mop
up any supportive local populations).



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