Category Archives: General Glorantha

Personal Horror in Glorantha

Glorantha is not  primarily a horror setting as such, but many of chaotic and some none chaotic elements of it would fit into a horror game with ease. However my intention  in this article is not  to address traditional horror but rather the slightly different theme of personal horror.

The difference between the two is in classic horror the pc’s are protagonists and the horror comes from an external threat to them and the world.

In personal horror the element of horror comers from what the players character could become and the wrestling of the monster within, or even more horrifically being blind to it and failing to see the evil which you become.

A number of facets of personal horror games are;

  1. Personal horror has a protagonist that stands on an edge between hero & monster
  2. The game is used not to escape from but to take a critical look at ourselves and those around us
  3. We use this as an opportunity to explore the darker side of our nature and that of those around us
  4. A characters struggle to retain humanity, morality or higher self despite internal and external pressures

There can be many facets to this. In white wolfs  World of darkness  games the themes of desire, violence, vengeance,  power and control are all examined. Differently in each game, but if played well the games can give us an often frightening insight into aspects of us that we may not wish to even acknowledge in the real world.  ( Played badly they too often often ended up being super heros with fangs )

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Obscure Spirit Magics of Balazar

Hi I have a few new spirit magic spells which I believe would be part of the Balazaring hunter tradition. They are not Foundchild spells as such but are taught by many of the shamans that are part of the Foundchild tradition.

The spirits which teach these spells are not common in areas which are urban or have significant agriculture, and though not uncommon in Balazar would be considered exotic in many locations of Central Genertela.

Runequest Write Ups

Camouflage

Variable, Temporal, Passive, Touch

For each point of the spell the character will receive a +5% increase in hide roles and sneak roles in a external natural habitat such as woods, long grass, bushes, water, reeds , canyons but not urban areas or underground.

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Using WOD:Glorantha Stats in Runequest

WOD:Glorantha is an in house system I have developed for Glorantha based off the white wolf storyteller system I used extensively in the 90’s.

Why I use WOD:Glorantha stats?

Ok why am bothering to publish Glorantha stats in a  bespoke in house system?

  • The stats are primarily for my own gaming so I write in the system I use.
  • The system used helps me define the character
  • I think the system used defines and explains characters very well
  • Its a decision based system so there is not a lot of sums or calculation involved so I can define quickly.
  • There currently is an not RQ system published i’m happy to use

Understanding the stats

For a quick understanding of all stats( bar quintessence and willpower) run on a 1 to 5 scale for normal human capacity. With 2 being an average stats for normal human.  However more detail below.

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Spirit Charms in Glorantha & Runequest

Shamans and other spirit magicians have ability to bind minor spell spirits ( or shard spirits ) into small delicate items in such a way that when used, broken or otherwise triggered the spirit will then cast an effect onto the being that caused triggered the effect, the spirit is then released afterward the effect, and the item is no longer magical in nature.

Shamans will use these to give limited magical aid to groups from the tribe or clan who need extra magical support in a task, but cannot be accompanied by a shaman, priest or other specialist magic weaver.

Usually this is for positive effects such as buffing spells (bladesharp, mobility, protection, etc) or positive effects (such as healing or dispel magic). However, some shamans will bind more offensive spirits (disruption, befuddle, demoralise) etc into items which an enemy can be tricked or persuaded into triggering.

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Creating Interesting & Believable NPC’s in Glorantha

Part of the art of telling a good story or creating a good setting is writing interesting , believable and entertaining NPC’s. Hopefully characters that will make you players laugh, angry, engender compassion, utterly bewilder and will occasionally make them cringe.

Hopefully this article will give some techniques that both adds depth to the characters but also speeds up the process of generating interesting NPC’s. I’m specifically looking at NPC’s in the Glorantha setting, However most of these concepts will transpose for most characters on most mediums.

I aim to create NPC’s who are

  • Individual – There are things about each NPC which are unique and each adds to the flavour of the world
  • Believable – The NPC’s must fit with the setting and hold to its internal dynamics
  • Generate Plot – They should be active and things should be happening round them.
  • Entertain – Their involvement  should add to session by adding tension, humour, frustration, relief
  • Invoke an emotional response – Players should want to have an opinion about an NPC, love, hate , respect, protect, admire, etc

OK let’s get on with it.

Continue reading Creating Interesting & Believable NPC’s in Glorantha

Gloranthan Quick  NPC Definition Walkthrough

My last article I pulled a number of techniques I used together to make suggested methodology in quickly creating more interesting NPC’s. I thought I would try apply the  methodology as whole and writing it up as a case study.

Naskia, one of the characters from the Cyriels prostitutes post had mentioned her father who could become an noteworthy NPC in the some of the scenarios hooks.  I also had no idea who he was beyond a generic trilian citadel guard. So good place to try out a full methodology.

This process took me about 15 minutes form very bare outline to a comprehensive set of notes and a feel I had defined the Character, the actual write up took a little longer, but unless you’re looking to publish the NPC that is unneeded.

Continue reading Gloranthan Quick  NPC Definition Walkthrough

Lunar Names Part 1- Lodrilli, Pelandan & Pelorian Names

This is the first of number of posts on different names from the Lunar Empire, these will be by the main subcultures of the Empire.  The aim of these is to make quick is easy names lists for refs and to choose character names from.

The first list is for rural common Pendalaran and Pelorian folk, The names will have been created by searching what has been published to date, creating stems and suffixes cross referencing them to create a long varied list.

Continue reading Lunar Names Part 1- Lodrilli, Pelandan & Pelorian Names

Lunar Names Part 2 – Carmanian Names

As part of the Lunar Empire names for  Glorantha and Runequest, here is a list of potential Carmanian name ideas.

This is taken from published sources, stemming the known names and some ‘Jiggery Pokery’ from me.

Its  a cheat list and should save some time and add a flavour to your names.

I’ve merged prefixes and suffixes again so its a long list and there may be some howlers

Carmanian Mens Names Continue reading Lunar Names Part 2 – Carmanian Names

Gloranthan Calendar – Editable File

I had to created a editable Electronic version of the Theylean Gloranthan Calendar to work out Joh Miths Itinerary on the previous post.

It is a resource I will use more and more as I run my sandbox campaigns to keep track of the different plot streams , creating separate tabs for each group of NPC’s or plot arcs as I see fit.

I’m sure there are prettier version out there, but I thought it may be an interesting resource to share, as it may save people 20 mins when creating there own timelines.

Continue reading Gloranthan Calendar – Editable File

Runequest Cults for Starting Players

In response to a request on basic roleplaying forums  here is  a quick guide to choosing a cult for new to Glorantha players.

These will by split by Culture

Orlanthi

The Orlanthi are a culture that worship Orlanth the Storm God and are usual clan or tribe based following chieftains and petty kings. They are an often violent , but loyal and freedom loving people.

They Can be found in the lands of Satar, Much of the Holy Country, Free Trash and Parts of Prax.

For an earth based equivalent think early european bronze age celts.

Cult Runes Worshipped By Notes Good for
Starting Character
Orlanth Air, Movement, Mastery Men, Warriors, Leaders Default male of God of culture Yes
Ernalda Earth, Fertility, Harmony Women Default womens God of culture No
Humakt Death, Truth Warriors, Mecenaries God of honourable warriors Yes
Issaries Communication, Trade Traders, Heralds, Travellers God of trade Yes
Lhankor Myh Truth, Law Sages, Scribes, Wise men God of knowldge Yes
Chalana Arroy Fertility, Harmony Healers Total pacifists Yes
Eurmal Illusion, Disorder Madmen, tricksters Many faceted and complex God difficult to play No
Vinga Air, Movement, Earth Warrior Women All have red hair Yes
Stormbull Death, Beast Chaos Fighters, Beserkers Consider uncooth and more than slightly deranged Yes
Elmal Light, Truth Warriors and horsemen Minor cult Yes
Banatar Earth, Fertility Farmers Minor cult No
Babeester Gor Earth Death Avengeing women Scary ass women, minor cult Yes
Heler Air, Water, Movement The obscure, sheperds God of rain, minor cult No
Odayla Movement Beast Hunters Minor cult Yes
Uleria Fertility, Infinty Temple prostitutes, Ladies of the night Temple prostitutes, ladies of the night, minor cult No
Yelmalio Sky, Truth Mercenary Soldiers Distinct subculture, Conservative Yes