Character Virtues for WOD: Glorantha

Virtues are not a key theme in a Gloranthan WOD game, however they make good tools for character definition, and they touch a  minor gloranthan theme that as characters become more powerful characters they become, they move from being relational human beings into mythic aspects of runes and legends.

In short most gloranthan heros sacrifice the higher elements of their humanity for mythic power.

The classic WOD human virtues of conscience, courage and self control could work ok for everyone but we miss an opportunity to define and talk about different culture sand there different ways of thinking.

The classic white wolf system has 3 virtue stats which usually reflected the

  • Strength of character which is the foundation for the willpower stat
  • Characters ability to follow his values
  • Warm and personal touch

I hope to evoke the same pattern but in doing so highlight the different cultural values that can be found in Glorantha. I also want to emphasise the different cultural norms between male and female in some cultures.  I believe in most cases virtues will be consistent across cultures, but certain cults which are separate or deviate from the base culture may have different virtues.

Below is a table of WOD style virtues for the major human culture near my game, it is a straw man and i’m sure some glornathaphiles could suggest better alternatives.

Culture Strength of Character Commitment to Values Personal
WOD Human Stat Courage Self Control Conscience
Free Orlanthi Male Pride Justice Generosity
Free Orlanthi Female Wisdom Prudence Mercy
Lunar Provinces Male Conviction Honour Conscience
Lunar Provinces Female Conviction Honour Conscience
Lunar Conviction Loyalty Conciliation
Lunarised Orlanthi Male Bravery Prudence Generous
Lunarised Orlanthi female Wise Prudence Forgiveness
Balazaring Male Vigor Trust Generosity
Balazaring Female Resilience Honest Compassion
Praxian Male Bravery Ruthless Devotion
Praxian Female Resilience Ruthless Devotion
Dara Happan Male Pride Honour Piety
Dara Happan Female Pride Chastity Piety
Peldaran Male Conviction Dutiful Conscience
Peldaran Female Fortitude Dutiful Conscience

This same system can be done for cults, kingdoms,tribes, clans, elder races as a storyteller sees fit.

In terms of games play the strength of character trait is used to create willpower and the rest of it is mainly for character definition window dressing . However a player could ask if he could use a virtue instead of a social or mental stats on some social or mental roles. But the storyteller can say no increase the difficulty s he sees fit.

In terms of loss of their human side characters who loose on dot virtues for each dot they gain in runes above 5, they cans spend more experience points on virtues if they want but this both expensive and needs to be justified by game play.

I’m aware a Pendragon style  traits/runes system is coming in the next edition of RQ but I think this would a large a cumbersome addition to the WOD mechanic. I may look at it after release.

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