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Author Topic: Kolat vs Telmor  (Read 3679 times)
rylen dreskin
Member

Posts: 34


« on: August 28, 2006, 09:00:56 AM »

I'm writing up a story/quick ceremony for a game I'm part of.  I'd appreciate any feedback, and especially help with one of the names.

The current situation, Telmori are raiding our tula (don't know the numbers) and we're mustering to drive them off.  My inexperienced spirit talker (not even a shaman yet) is leading something to provide help.  How should this help be expressed?

---
Kolat and Telmor

A fire is built.  The double spiral has been drawn with ganderís blood.  Six Ways (1), I call you, carry our words to Kolat.  Ask him to bring his children and help his kin.
   
The path is open.  Dance as I dance.  Follow this path.  The wind of our motion will carry to Kolat and bring the great spirit here.

Remember this chant.  These are the spirits that fight Telmor:
     Hhu Ho (2) --- Fear Me
     Veren Vu (3) --- Fight Me
     yyy (4) --- Flee Me

This is our chorus and our battle cry.  Dance on the spiral.  Watch where the wind changes.  The wind blows in both directions.

(chorus)

In the Storm Age, Kolat wandered with his kin and his herds.  Life was hard since Telmor had eaten the sun and tried to devour the world.  Kolat moved his tent often, searching for forage.  He was a fierce protector.  As you say each name, clash your shield.  Call loudly.

(chorus)

Many times Telmor sought to steal Kolatís children and animals.  When he heard Telmor was nearby, Kolat called together four of his strongest children and went to drive the thief away.

(chorus)

First he sent Hhu Ho, the herald breeze, ahead.  Telmor knew he would be overmatched.  Grab dirt from the ground throw it before you as you dance.  Even today, Hhu Ho raises the hackles of Telmorís children.

(chorus)

Kolat sent Veren Vu, the harrier gale.  Raise your hands high and lock them together.  Veren Vu chased Telmor from all sides.  He did not let the wolf flee as he wished or fight as he wished.  He drove the wolf to a place with one exit.  Be careful here, Telmor is dangerous when he is desperate.

(chorus) (5)

Move as you wish but keep moving.  Here Kolat fights.  Here, we fight.  Kolat fought the cornered Telmor, song to howl and staff to fang.  His crook grabbed the wolf by his neck and cast him down.  They were both wounded and Telmor slinked away.
(chorus)

Kolat send the chasing wind after him.  Leap and shake your heads.  The chasing wind hurt Telmor when he could and chased him until he was far away.

(chorus)

Kolat returned home to tend his wounds, his children, and his herds.  With his help we will drive away Telmorís children and do the same.  We step off the spiral but we do not step off the breeze.  Remember the spirits.  Call their names and they will help us.

(chorus)

----

Iím using the new official Kolati writeup as a major source.  (http://glorantha.com/support/kolat.html)  Iíve found some references to Kolat-Telmor tensions but no written myths.  So, Iíve put together my own.  In game, this is presented by a young Kolati who hasnít been taught everything.  So, Iíve left out at least one major piece.

(1)   Six Ways is Zolan Zubar.  It makes sense that he opens ceremonies.
(2)   Hhu Ho is often ďbefore me,Ē a good place for announcing challenges.  If Kolat has Four Storms, he may be the spear thrower (going first) or the backboy (doing various things.)
(3)   Veren Vu is a powerful spirit fighting spirit.  He is the sword thane.
(4)   Suggestions?  Iím considering Tular Varnei who would throw things after a departing foe.  Other ideas?
(5)   The story mentions four spirits.  Only three are named.  Iím considering ďFind MeĒ and ďDefend MeĒ for those roles.  Either someone to guide Kolat to Telmor or else to protect the warriors.

As I see it, this story pushes some people to be out in front, first worrying the wolves, then trying to chase them into a clump and separate a few at a time, cornering them, and finally pursing them as they run.  It works less well when the people themselves are the targets or the wolves.
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sebastianz
Member

Posts: 51


« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2006, 01:14:09 AM »

Hi, Rylen.

I have a question and then a suggestion.
You design this myth for a heroquest, right? Then there should be some surprise. How about having Defend Me in the myth, who should be left behind to defend Kolat's people. While Kolat fights Telmor, Kolat's people are attacked by some helpers of Telmor. If Defend Me stays behind, he can save the day right then. Otherwise the heroes return and find some of Kolat's people (his children and animals?) kidnapped. They have to go to another station and rescue them.

Just a random thought.

Sebastian.
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2006, 04:51:28 AM »

Yeah, I'm not sure what precisely you're looking for here. Are you looking for how to rate the resistances at the stations? Are you looking for more details to throw into the heroquest?

One thing to consider is whether or not this is a practice quest, or a real trip to the hero plane.

Mike
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rylen dreskin
Member

Posts: 34


« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2006, 07:06:30 AM »

Hi, Rylen.

I have a question and then a suggestion.
You design this myth for a heroquest, right?

Kinda.  It's intended as an Estatic worship ceremony.  But, my impression of HQ is the lines get blurred a lot.  This story and worship wants to impose a narrative on ongoing events -- take what's going on now and force it to become a practice quest.  Hopefully this will shape the outcome.

Taken as a myth with stations, this can definitely be a HeroQuest.

Quote
Then there should be some surprise. How about having Defend Me in the myth, who should be left behind to defend Kolat's people. While Kolat fights Telmor, Kolat's people are attacked by some helpers of Telmor. If Defend Me stays behind, he can save the day right then. Otherwise the heroes return and find some of Kolat's people (his children and animals?) kidnapped. They have to go to another station and rescue them.

Just a random thought.

Sebastian.

And a good one.  It explains where the Fourth Friend is.  It gives a reason my (in training) character doesn't know that detail.  And it provides a nifty choice -- take less damage yourself or expose your family to risk.

Yeah, I'm not sure what precisely you're looking for here. Are you looking for how to rate the resistances at the stations? Are you looking for more details to throw into the heroquest?

One thing to consider is whether or not this is a practice quest, or a real trip to the hero plane.

Mike

That's the trouble, I'm not sure what I'm after either, but I do know I want richer detail.  This is a worship ceremony/guide for a practice quest.  I'd like to tighten the logic and feel for each station.  I'm figuring out the outcomes for a sucessful ceremony.  And I'm figuring out the missing peices.

Thanks,
Rylen
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2006, 09:49:45 AM »

Well, the question is which mechanics are going to support what you want to do. If you start out with just a myth, and no idea what the goal of emulating it is, then it's hard to know where to start.

I mean, the overall goal is pretty clear, the characters want help against the Telemori. But the question is what sort of benefit they can produce that will help them. I'm seeing a few options. With something like a simple ritual, this could simply be a bonus that they gain to any spirits they use to fight the Telemori. To be technical, a ritual is simply some set of things done that give bonuses to using magic. So with this particular ritual of simply repeating this myth, I think you can give a bonus off the chart depending on how long you see it taking, and what elements you're bringing in, how holy the day is, etc.

You familiar with the chart in question?

Now, that said, simply becuse there's such a ritual, doesn't mean that there isn't also a heroquest - both could exist. When I say practice quest, are you familiar with what that means? Basically that the quest is entirely in the mundane world? As opposed to a normal heroquest where the involved questers actually pass into the hero plane? The rewards for a practice heroquest are usually getting to know the quest well, so you can do the full quest later. But there can be some small benefits. Certainly it's an excuse to buy new abilities like "Know How To Fight Telemori" with HP. You can even get some small magical bonuses from it using the heroquest challenge rules.

So, yeah, for a beginner you'd think that a practice quest might be most suitable. And given time to practice, it probably is. But if there's real danger, I suggest making it a full heroquest. Yeah, very risky for the kid, but that's what heroes are abourt.

Another thing that I'm seeing is that the myth in question may simply be indicating to the character that he needs to have four specific spirits in order to fight the Telemori. In this case, it could merely be exhorting him to go find those spirits. This involves opening up the spirit world to the right place (not neccessarily going there), finding the right spirits, and binding them (and paying the HP to do so). With all four spirits, you could give the character a bonus for situation, or call it a ritual bonus, if he releases all four spirits (OTOH, if he actually releases four spirits on the Telemori, he's likely to do pretty good anyhow).

So there's at least four mechanical options that I'm seeing her in summary:
1. Simple ritual
2. Practice heroquest
3. Real heroquest
4. Bind new spirits

Which seems right to you?

Mike
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rylen dreskin
Member

Posts: 34


« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2006, 11:35:31 AM »

Well, the question is which mechanics are going to support what you want to do. If you start out with just a myth, and no idea what the goal of emulating it is, then it's hard to know where to start.
I see myself starting with a general goal and looking for 1) help refining it and 2) a mechanic to associate with it.

The goal is to help drive off a Telmori raid.  The specific way it helps, I'm less clear on.

Quote
I mean, the overall goal is pretty clear, the characters want help against the Telemori. But the question is what sort of benefit they can produce that will help them. I'm seeing a few options. With something like a simple ritual, this could simply be a bonus that they gain to any spirits they use to fight the Telemori. To be technical, a ritual is simply some set of things done that give bonuses to using magic. So with this particular ritual of simply repeating this myth, I think you can give a bonus off the chart depending on how long you see it taking, and what elements you're bringing in, how holy the day is, etc.

You familiar with the chart in question?
Yep.  This is what I'll pass along.  It'll keep play moving.  And, game-time, things are happening very quickly.

Quote
Now, that said, simply becuse there's such a ritual, doesn't mean that there isn't also a heroquest - both could exist. When I say practice quest, are you familiar with what that means? Basically that the quest is entirely in the mundane world? As opposed to a normal heroquest where the involved questers actually pass into the hero plane? The rewards for a practice heroquest are usually getting to know the quest well, so you can do the full quest later. But there can be some small benefits. Certainly it's an excuse to buy new abilities like "Know How To Fight Telemori" with HP. You can even get some small magical bonuses from it using the heroquest challenge rules.

So, yeah, for a beginner you'd think that a practice quest might be most suitable. And given time to practice, it probably is. But if there's real danger, I suggest making it a full heroquest. Yeah, very risky for the kid, but that's what heroes are abourt.
Right now, it's being used to channel aid to the folks who will manage to fight the raiders.  Later on, if the Telmori stay prominent in the campaign, I'll suggest learning it in greater detail and doing a HQ.

Quote
Another thing that I'm seeing is that the myth in question may simply be indicating to the character that he needs to have four specific spirits in order to fight the Telemori. In this case, it could merely be exhorting him to go find those spirits. This involves opening up the spirit world to the right place (not neccessarily going there), finding the right spirits, and binding them (and paying the HP to do so). With all four spirits, you could give the character a bonus for situation, or call it a ritual bonus, if he releases all four spirits (OTOH, if he actually releases four spirits on the Telemori, he's likely to do pretty good anyhow).
Three of the spirits, plus the opener we're pulled from the Kolati writeup.  So, gathering them in fetishes wouldn't necessary.  This gives a strong story reason the unnamed spirit isn't a core Kolati spirit.  Harran will need to find her.

Quote
So there's at least four mechanical options that I'm seeing her in summary:
1. Simple ritual
Which I'll suggest to my GM for now.

Quote
2. Practice heroquest
3. Real heroquest
4. Bind new spirits

Which seems right to you?

Mike

I'll expand on those depending on how the story wants to go.  If we PCs want to focus on the tensions b/w our clan and our savage neighbors I'll do 2-4 or 3-4.  If not, something else.

On a slightly related subject, how does one create something specifically as a ritual or ceremony?  For those, the goal is to provide a framework for the community to strengthen some action, right?  And that improvement can go to some of the participants or another designated group?

Thanks,
Rylen
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Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
Member

Posts: 10459


« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2006, 05:43:34 AM »

I sense there's something missing in all of this discussion, but I can't put my finger on it.

Quote
On a slightly related subject, how does one create something specifically as a ritual or ceremony?  For those, the goal is to provide a framework for the community to strengthen some action, right?  And that improvement can go to some of the participants or another designated group?
Here I'm definitely not sure what you're talking about. "Create something" is pretty vague. Can you give a hypothetical?

Are you talking about community support? Or about who gets the benefits of a heroquest?

Just to reiterate the technical meanings of some terms, and the related mechanics:

Ritual - this is just something you do to gain a bonus to some other magical act. It could give bonuses to the use of a magic ability, or to crossing to an otherworld, or could be of benefit at a station in a heroquest, etc, etc. I suggest making up and using rituals willy-nilly.

Ceremony - mechanically this is largely undefined, but sometimes it's used to mean something like weekly worship where the otherworld is opened up, and the comunal worshippers, lay worshippers, spiritists - generally non-dedicated members of the religion - get to see into the otherworld a bit. This often has no particular effect, other than strenghtening the faith of those present. Yeah, Lay Worshippers get blessings at these, but they can also get them outside of such ceremonies.

Gaining Magic "Ceremonies" - In more private ceremonies, more advanced practitioners of magic may attempt to get magic. For the most part, this involves opening up the otherworld from which the magic comes (or the hero plane, depending), and then reaching in, finding what you need, and learning about it. Note that this is generally how all magic is gained. So if your character has magic, he's been through this. So, for an animist, for instance, he's met with a shaman or advanced practitioner (possibly a spirit talker, but not neccessarily), they've opened the spirit world, found the spirit that he wants to bind, and then he's bound said spirit. The way it appears, theists tend to go to the hero plane to learn to emulate their dieties, and other sorts tend to go to their "home" otherworlds, but this could be me misreading. I don't think there's any problem with doing it either way, in any case (and other forms of magic may have their own methods that vary from these). But, generally, to get magic, you have to do some ceremony where the character is tested and found worthy.

Practice Heroquest - enacting a myth in the mundane world. Done either to prepare for an actual heroquest to the hero plane that it emulates, or to gain some very minor magical benefit. Mechanically it can be an excuse to buy a magic ability at 13.

Heroquest - enacting a myth in the hero plane. Two important mechanics with regards to gains. At some point in this sort of quest may come a "heroquest challenge" in which the character can risk an ability of his to gain a new magic ability at up to the same rating as the risked ability. This is a way in which characters can leap into very powerful new abilities. The other mechanic is the overall success measure, which means winning the "Heroquest Moment" and completing the quest. This can have whatever reward the narrator wants to give. So, for instance, you could rule that winning such a quest simply means that the Telemori leave. This is a good way to effect what seem more like events than ability gains. Why do the Telemori leave when the quest is complete? Well, because that's the magical effect.

One more comment about heroquests. Before they start, it has to be clear who is going to be the beneficiary of the quest outcome. For instance, if the quest is to get some spirit to ward off the Telemori, will that end up being in a fetish owned by the character, or in one owned by the village? This is important because it determines part of the difficulty of obtaining strong support in a contest to gain....

Community Support - this is another important mechanic, but not magical neccessarily (can be used for any endeavor). Basically it looks at the endeavor, who is at risk, who can benefit, and how many people are involved. Given a certain level of success with a certain number of people, their support ends up giving a bonus to particular acts. Generally this is just a bonus to what's agreed to, but there is a specific case that has to be looked at separately.

Community Support in a heroquest can be provided in one of several different ways. Read up on the choices, I'm not going over them here. But be sure that you don't accidentally apply the bonus gained as a bonus to every station in a heroquest.

Any clearer?

Mike
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