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Author Topic: Balazar Campaign for Indie RPG Toronto: 2 New Myths  (Read 2552 times)
epweissengruber
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Posts: 311

I like games! and theory! and The Forge!


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« on: October 15, 2005, 05:00:59 AM »

I wanted to use some of the Sorcerer and Sword/Heroquest threads in the creation of my own campaign.
I got great inspiration from one of my players.  But no one else in the group is contributing.  I don't feel that I can go much further in group setting creation unless I get a group of heroes.  Nonetheless, here are two myths that I wrote, based on input from the players.

A player gave me a picture of a Peruvian mountain city and I came up with this:

 The Mountain City: a Godtime Myth


"King Griffin's Stronghold"

Quote
In the golden age, King Griffin was the Guardian of the Gate of the Palace of Law. His image may still be seen on palaces throughout Glorantha. Golden lion and golden eagle both, he was the companion to the Lord of Light, and the favoured mount of the Lord's son, Yelmalio. From his back, the Son of Light could survey his father's realm. High in the mountains was a city to which humans climbed that they might be nearer to the Light. The Son of the Light would descend upon King Griffin's back to greet the humans, and to bring a touch of light to the mortal world.

As the world became more stormy, Yelmalio relied on King Griffin to carry him through the storms buffeting his father's palace so that he might reach the people below. And often, when the Son of Light was off attending to his father's business, King Griffin would go alone to carry the light to the humans. When the great darkness came, King Griffin was caught in the mortal realm. He guarded the flame in the centre of Yelmalio's Hall and defended his master's followers throughout the darkness. The Sun Hawks and the Stone Falcons, children he had fathered with local bird spirits, warded off demons of the air and helped the people find edible prey on the ground. The Sun Lions and the Stone Panthers prowled outside the walls of the stronghold and through the forests to hunt out the spawn of chaos and the enemies of Yelmalio's people, people who copied the great cats' stealth and strength.

One day, the wild storm god Orlanth stole King Griffin's wings, and used their speed and strength in his war against the gods of the Sun and the gods of Darkness. Lonely, and despairing at his loss and separation from his beloved master, King Griffin went mad. He fathered wild and vicious mountain lions, wingless like himself and as bestial as he had become. He seized and abused local bird spirits and fathered the pitiless owl and the loathsome vulture. He devoured the humans who had once honored him and his master. The stronghold was deserted and people cursed the memory of King Griffin.

Seeing that Griffin longed to escape the earth, Votank the Master of Spirits helped King Griffin recover his senses and told him to track down Orlanth and steal his wings back. King Griffin, with the help of Votank, did so. And before he departed the earth, King Griffin gave Votank the keys to the hidden stronghold, and promised that he would return to make good the suffering he had caused Yelmalio's people. Where that stronghold is and where Votank put the keys remain secrets to this day.



Sampe player asked for a circle of sacred stones, so I gave him this:

Oral History: The Sacred Stones

"How the Circle of Stones Came to Be"

Quote
This was our home, before Balazar came as king among us. The plains are its carpet, the blue sky its roof, the mountains its pillars. We love the fortresses the great king gave us, but we know that all of us live in one big beautiful house. On this land were written the signs of the gods, signs we learnt to read before Balazar gave us the letters of the Sun: three lines for harmony; the circle with the point for the sun's eye and the breast of mother earth; two waves for the rivers and lakes; the two arms reaching up for the truth; the swirl of the winds; the knife of death; the eyelid of the beast; the stick figure of man; and the sacred shaman's glyph.

In the middle of the plains we saw a rock in the shape of the Spike of Law and on it we wrote the sign of the Sun and the sign of truth. Now, when the great darkness came, the Spike exploded and showered its fragments throughout the world. Since all living beings of the world are trying to put back together the perfect world we lost, we figured that we should help by recreating the lost house of the gods in the middle of our big beautiful house.

So, from the mountains we rolled down a boulder swirled with the blue and the white of the storm. Out of a sweet blue river we rolled a boulder and marked it the the water runes. Out of the earth we raised a stone that looked like the first hunter, who had sheltered in Mother Earth. We put a broad, strong stone next to him: his wife and nurturer Hearthmother. Before them we raised a black stone and in white we inscribed the spirit glyph; this was done to honour Votank, master of spirits, the child of Hearthmother and Foundchild. Guarding them all is King Griffin, majestic and dreadful. And around the Little-House-Inside-the-Big-Beautiful-Ho use stand the stones of Brother Dog, ever friendly to our family but ever vigilant against our enemies.

This was all done by our grandfathers and grandmothers when the world was young. Ever since then, the Little House has been cared for by all the tribes of this land and even the remotest plainswalker or mountain dweller has been to see the Little House at least once in his or her life.



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epweissengruber
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Posts: 311

I like games! and theory! and The Forge!


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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2005, 05:03:13 AM »

Here is the link to our group

http://roleplayers.meetup.com/261/boards/view/viewthread?thread=1528457&pager.offset=10
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2005, 10:00:25 AM »

Very cool stuff so far, but I wonder if your original contributions didn't send the wrong message to some of the players. That is, you say, "see here to see how we're going to play" and then you proceed to dump all sorts of setting information into the thread. Perhaps some of the players don't get that they're supposed to be contributing to the setting? Also, have you started play yet? You have more than enough to do so. If you don't, then people might get the opinion that the exercise is just worldbuilding. In fact, from the Sorcerer & Sword viewpoint, unless all of what you have relates to something that's happening to some character, then you are just worldbuilding for worldbuilding's sake.

One of my favorite activities, too. But it can derail play. Just a thought.

Mike
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epweissengruber
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I like games! and theory! and The Forge!


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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2005, 04:22:05 PM »

Very cool stuff so far, but I wonder if your original contributions didn't send the wrong message to some of the players.


Thanks.  I should have prefaced my posting to say this is "in progress" setting creation and that I was going to track how my procedures work.

I thought that some people need a glamorous setting to get them interested, so I decided to take a few basic steps first to create a specific place with a lot of hooks to hang characters on.  Then we would move on to the creation of our PCs and their interrelationships.

But aside from a few stalwarts, the other 11 members of the group aren't biting.  Your diagnosis might be correct.

... you say, "see here to see how we're going to play" and then you proceed to dump all sorts of setting information into the thread. Perhaps some of the players don't get that they're supposed to be contributing to the setting? Also, have you started play yet? You have more than enough to do so. If you don't, then people might get the opinion that the exercise is just worldbuilding. In fact, from the Sorcerer & Sword viewpoint, unless all of what you have relates to something that's happening to some character, then you are just worldbuilding for worldbuilding's sake.

One of my favorite activities, too. But it can derail play. Just a thought.

Mike

I grok.  Most of this prep is being done electronically outside of actually play.  I told the group that play couldn't really get swinging until November.  But the next few posts to my group will relate to hero creation and setting up the action.

What advice would you offer to amend some of the setting-heavy work that I have done so far, Mike (or anyone else)?
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2005, 01:19:43 PM »

Well...I guess it depends on your actual goal here. Do you want some collaborative setting creation before play? If so, you'll just have to prompt them or something. Maybe give assignments. Just reiterate that this is what the play at this point is about. Short and sweet.

OTOH, this does all seem to some extent like "playing before you play" for the sort of play that the links you refer to indicate. Yeah, you'll want them to indicate homelands and such in general, but even the details of that could be left to come out in play. Just the vaguest of ideas ("like Mongol plainsmen") is fine at this point.

12 players? This could be part of the problem as well in some ways. Also, what's the channel for play? FTF? Chat, PBP, PBEM?

To be clear, the Sorcerer & Sword method pretty much sticks a finger in the eye of the notion that you need some sparkly setting stuff before play. What you need really is just a feel. Like all you have to say is something like "The coast of a long forgotten sea empire with newly emerging city-states" and I'm hooked.

Mike
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epweissengruber
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Posts: 311

I like games! and theory! and The Forge!


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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2005, 05:35:35 PM »

There are 13 members of the Indie RPG Toronto Group.

Only 2 others aside from myself turn up for face-2-face play with any regularity.  I have run Elfs and DitV.  One other , Chris Talbot drops onto the board
I am trying to get a 3rd to come back, and get back to a new player who seems pretty smart.

If those four come up, we got something.

Here is the bulletin I sent around with my announcement of the Meetup.com, um, meet up.

Quote
AGENDA
* discuss games
* propoes Heroquest characters

DISCUSS GAMES
* self-explanatory

PROPOSE CHARACTERS for HEROQUEST
* I would like interested players to propose characters for the setting we have thrashed out so far.
* Character creation requires no knowledge of Glorantha or even of the material we have discussed on the message board.
* If there is a character type you have never had the chance to play before, be it from mythology (Odysseus, Sir Lancelot), high fantasy (Boromir, Sparrowhawk), sword and sorcery (Conan, Fafhrd), comics (Elfquest) now is your chance.
* The setting will change to fit your characters, not the other way around.

Hope that this one works out.

With my notes on the board I was only trying to establish a subset of the intimidatingly detailed Glorantha setting, and to illustrate that the best way to do Glorantha is to pick a limited area and let your imagination run wild.  I came up with my myths and my maps by riffing on player suggestions, not by consulting splat books.  I hope it is a model of play and creation that members of the group pick up on and import into their own gaming, even if they don't come to any of our face to face meetings.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2005, 01:57:26 PM »

Looks good to me.

Wish I could make it... ;-)

Mike
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Bryan_T
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Posts: 75


« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2005, 01:02:31 PM »

I don't suppose any of your group are actually from near Kitchener, and looking for a FTF game there by any chance?

(I know Toronto is only an hour or so away by car, but what with the family, insane work,  and all, tacking two hours of driving onto a decent length gaming session moves this particular dream from "difficult" to "pigs may fly first").

-Bryan
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epweissengruber
Member

Posts: 311

I like games! and theory! and The Forge!


WWW
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2005, 05:09:52 AM »

I don't suppose any of your group are actually from near Kitchener, and looking for a FTF game there by any chance?

(I know Toronto is only an hour or so away by car, but what with the family, insane work,  and all, tacking two hours of driving onto a decent length gaming session moves this particular dream from "difficult" to "pigs may fly first").

-Bryan

If you want to suggest a character, we could incorporate him/her into our web of relationships.  Then, we could have a special one-off session that highlighted that character.  So, in a month or two their might be an excuse for you to come to Toronto for a single long session.
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