State of Gloranthan gaming (long)

From: Arf (A.R.Wilson@herts.ac.uk)
Date: Mon 20 Jul 1998 - 12:51:39 EEST


- ->Nikolas.Lloyd

I like the idea of internal conflicts within cultures - IMO this isn't covered
enough within the fantasy genre; you just get situations of "troll hates elf
hates dwarf: all like humans (especially trolls - yum yum)". There are
shining examples of Gloranthan intra-culture conflict though, particularly in
Orlanthi tribes, and Sun Dome or Lunar political factions.
 
> Richard Meints wrote
[snip]
> > The digest, with several shining exceptions, has fallen into a state of
> > people asking questions (a great thing to do) and getting vague/esoteric
> > snotty/condescending answers,

This is exactly what has stopped me from posting several times. When I first
delurked on the digest three years ago, I asked a few questions about
areas/things I had no source material on, and got replies that made me feel
like I'd said something stupid, which wasn't what I was looking for. When you
don't know something, and you ask someone who does, you don't expect them to
belittle you at the same time because of your "lack" of knowledge.

> This is my first posting to this list. I have been lurking since April.
> I joined, hoping to get access to scenarios - YES: SCENARIOS, or at least
> scenario ideas which would help me springboard my mind and my players
> into realms of ADVENTURE!

If you tour the RQ websites, you'll find a wide range of material that you can
use and adapt to your own version of Glorantha. Most of the sites are linked
to several others, but a good starting point is Kim Englund's page, which is
regularly updated with RQ/Glorantha links.

> New folks like me, while interested in some of what is said (eg. the stuff
> I accidentally deleted on how dwarves sense things underground), are I'm
> sure put off by the debates which make up most of this list.

I think it's only fair (despite my comment above) to bear in mind that there
are people on the digest who have been playing (RQ) in Glorantha since it was
first published, and their campaigns require such obscure rambling :-). I
have now been playing RQ for about four years, and I have found that my games
are now evolving themselves into deeper and deeper realms - things I would be
unable to sit down and create by myself occur naturally in play. For me this
is the beauty of Glorantha - it's a bit like an onion: at whatever level you,
there are always others (above AND below) that you can rise/sink to to suit
your own campaign/players/GM skill.

 
- ->Joerg Baumgartner

> Scenarios? Most magazines dealing with Glorantha are looking out for
> scenarios. If you ever tried to write down a scenario for publication, you
> may have noticed that it is a quite different task from preparing a gaming
> session, and includes a fair amount of tedium.

Hmmm... I think this really depends on how detailed your session notes are. I
know that when you are running a campaign that has been going some time, most
of the action is generated by past exploits, sub-plots and the PCs own
activities, but when you have a new campaign or (like me) an incredibly bad

memory, you tend to write more detailed notes for your sessions. For me,
adapting something I've written to a publishable scenario just needs a little

plot-juggling to extract it from your campaign.

Of course, this doesn't mean that I feel my scenarios are strong enough to
stand up on their own. I would certainly publish stuff if I felt more
confident about it, or thought it would be treated as reasonable material
rather than just being trashed by those whose Glorantha Lore is greater than mine.

 
> Apart from that, there have been numerous contributions which may have
> provided such scenario ideas in the past. You can't expect them in ongoing
> discussions, really...

This is very true. Certainly the Elves and Dwarves IMG are based on
articles/discussions I've read in the digest, and not on published material.
Using ideas from other sources can give your game an extra bit of flavour,
especially if (like me) you are running a game with players who know (The
published) Glorantha better than you do.

> The regular gaming group I have isn't quite prepared for myth-rich gaming,
> so my refereeing Glorantha is more sporadic than it could be too.

The campaign I've been recently playing seems to have got itself into
"myth-rich" areas - something I wasn't prepared for. But I suddenly found
refereeing much more enjoyable because I was being challenged as well as the
players. Maybe you just need to take that first step ;-)

> When I started participating on this list's predecessor, I had more opinion
> than knowledge, too. It is fairly easy to get a well-founded opinion on a
> special part of Glorantha knowledge if you specialize. There are lots of
> topics left to explore, really.

Yes, but if you're a newcomer, it's a hell of a lot easier to rely on
published material and others' more "experienced" knowledge than start writing
material that you cannot later integrate with the published stuff because of
basic flaws in what you first wrote. I chose Pavis as my campaign base
because the amount of stuff I need to remember to run Pavis politics is
nothing compared to the amount of "when which clan did what to whom in what
year" that gets bandied about for DP Orlanthis.

> And thanks to Hal Bowman to addressing the needs expressed above nicely!

Hear hear!

- ->Kmnellist

> Brian Tickler seemed to be very pessimistic about Runequest and Glorantha but
> a lot of digesters seem to disagree with him. I personally think Glorantha is
> more interesting at the moment than it has EVER been. There seem to be more
> publications than ever. How well attended were RQ cons in 1985? Runequest may
> be dead, long live Glorantha!

I agree that Glorantha is interesting - bugger it, Glorantha is Excellent!
It's definately one of the best gaming worlds ever written (along with Harn
and Talislanta both of which seem to have died a lot younger than Glorantha)
But I think Brians point can't just be aimed at Glorantha/RQ. Certainly in
the UK, Role-playing seems to be dominated by Games Workshop, even more than
D&D nowadays, and the only people I have met recently that have even HEARD of
other games are those who join the University RPG groups (and they tend to
play a lot of LARP and White Wolf stuff).

I don't know the situation in other countries but RPGing in the UK has
certainly taken a steady dive throughout the 90's. For Gloranthan gaming to
increase in popularity, it needs to compete with some serious advertising, and
the only place I've ever seen an advert was the good ol' White Dwarf.

> I do wonder about the demographics and playing habits of Gloranthaphiles. I
> personally have trouble finding enough time for serious gaming of any sort.

Certainly in my group, each player has to travel from a different town when we
get together for a session, about 2/3 has work/home/family commitments that
interfer with arrangements, so sessions are few and far between. Praise the email!

Arf
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