Re: Glorantha/Greyhawk, Griffin Mountain, Foundchild

From: Nick Brooke (
Date: Tue 31 Mar 1998 - 21:00:00 EEST

Philip writes:

> I seem to remember something about Greg writing up Glorantha as a
> DnD module, then meeting Steve Perrin. Maybe this is a myth. Maybe
> it's true. Maybe it's both.

It sounds confused to me. IIRC, the story as told by Greg is that
some people (who *may* have been the authors of RuneQuest) came up
to him at a Con where Greg was selling "White Bear and Red Moon",
his Gloranthan wargame, and asked if they could use the setting as
a DnD variant. Greg thought it wouldn't be hard to write a better
game than original DnD (true!), and thus RuneQuest was born.

The key element of the story as told by Greg is that A.N.Other (or
Others) wanted to do "DnD in Glorantha" and he twisted it round to
"writing a new role-playing game set in Glorantha".

So the "Greyhawk" parallel doesn't really hold.

In Praise of Griffin Mountain

Patrik writes:

> A huge mass of it is NPC stats, which have to be redone if you
> are going to play there with RQ3.

Yes, true, but they include some of the most amusing and original
NPC stats I've ever encountered. These aren't just "broos 1-27":
most of them have vivid and colourful personalities.

Richard's getting there...

> Do I basically choose, for my Glorantha, whether Foundchild is a
> relatively weak spirit or a full blown God? Or is it that there
> are two manifestations of the same thing? Or is that there are
> two separate things?

Two manifestations. Foundchild *IS*. How do you worship him?

Think of the Hunter as a source of power. Spirit Cult worship is one
way of "plugging into" that source: quick'n'dirty, not necessarily
100% reliable, not the most efficient way of using it. But you can
get a good return for your investment, and you aren't as tied down
as the full-blown cultists.

Then there's the Cult of Foundchild. Join this, you have to jump
through some social hoops. There's formal institutions (yeah, not
*very* formal I know, but they're still there), like the Master
Hunters and the Great Hunt and the Holy Days and the rituals you
need to carry out regularly if you want to remain a good follower
of the Hunter God. Like the good old Peaceful Cut. A shaman in a
Spirit Cult could care less whether he remembers to do this always:
it's only when he needs to be in the Hunter's good books that he
needs to adhere to those taboos and prejudices. But a worshipper,
an initiate of the Hunter Cult, *always* does what a Good Hunter
should do: there's a more "moral" relationship, and the god has
more coercive authority (exercised through e.g. spirits of reprisal
and tip-offs to the priesthood) over his flock.

Of course, there are other approaches too, but they are much rarer.
A God Learner sorcerer would manipulate the Hunter -- archetype or
demon, it matters little -- to obtain useful effects. And nobody's
likely to understand what use a Mystic makes of the Hunter's power,
but rest assured it probably happens...

And yes, some bigots would deny that the puny entity contacted in
Spirit Cult worship is the same as the magnificent deity *they*
only relate to through Divine worship. (Consider those Dara Happan
denials that the solar Pentan horse nomads could ever worship Yelm).
Or that the Spirit Cult method of worship is respectful, appropri-
ate, suitable, or morally upright. And so on. These are personal
and cultural opinions, not Ultimate Game Truths. They are bound to
exist in Glorantha, so make the most of them. ("You call yourself
a Humakti, and yet you wielded that sword with your *LEFT* hand?!?
Blasphemer!!! He defiles the True Death with his very presence!")

So we're not saying, "make up your mind whether Foundchild is a
big divine cult or a minor spirit cult in Your Glorantha". We're
saying, "do the people you're writing about have a major hunter
ethos, or can they get by with occasional shamanic worship?"



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