Dead Blue Clown said:
Well, they didn't hire me for my looks.
(Though they could've done...)
Ta very much, I like it, a lot.
I have, (as always) one small worry. The EMF (sic) and the God Learners they aren't going to be cardboard cut-outs of evil empires are they?
Well, no. Not at all. Mainly because...hmm...this is tricky.
New players to RuneQuest
aren't coming into this like the oldies are. Take, for example, J. Random Newbie. He sees the Dragonlords and the God Learners and sees magic-driven world-shaping cultures each trying to do their own thing. He knows that, apparently, in the end, they fail and there's elements of tragedy and doom over the heads of these guys, but J. Random Newbie sees them and knows that in Imperial Age Glorantha, these are the guys to play. They, for want of a better term, are the Main Players in Glorantha. Maybe he wants to kill 'em, maybe he wants to play 'em, but the choice is there. They're not presented as evil, moustache-twirlers. "Ha ha! I've plundered your myths, Storm God! And now I shall fleee back to my Machine City!"
Now, what I'm seeing a bit of is RQ vets having a little difficulty seeing this at times. They worry about the God Learners and the EWF being too evil or the "bad guys" in the setting. But, well, they're not evil. They're not the bad guys - any more than any expansionist empire is irrevocably evil.
Sure, in years to come they wil be parables for hubris, foolishness and selfishness, but right now they're both opposing empires desperately seeking to further their own agenda. They've risen far above all other Gloranthan cultures, and that is reflected in the influence and power they have.
In all honesty I can only speak for my work and I've read some upcoming stuff that takes a much more traditional look at Glorantha, dealing with all cultures equally. Magic of Glorantha
, however, doesn't. This arose from my own focus on what is important to 2nd Age Glorantha and many, many emails with Greg Stafford. The actual magic of Glorantha in the Imperial Age is the world-shattering magic of the God Learners and the Dragonspeakers. That's what needed exploring. That's what is there to be used in the book.
I do see a future resistance to this from some vets who will prefer the EWF and God Learners as historic parables and mysterious tales, as well as flat-out enemies, in the Second Age. The latter is perfectly viable, in fact. I'm desperate to run a game about the heroes of an Orlanthi tribe resisting the draconisation of their faith.
However, my focus was on making the magicians of the empires playable. That focus is pretty much entirely born from me talking to Greg Stafford about what magic was
in the 2nd Age, as well as what I took from the main rulebook as the really important stuff going on in the era.
I suspect people looking for more Orlanthi cults (which could exist in any era) and any traditional Gloranthan 3rd Age aspects aren't going to happy with my stuff. Those looking for Dragonlords wearing shaped bone armour and risking their souls by tapping into Draconic Mysticism while they defend the empire against God Learners and Old Ways insurrectionists? They'll be the smiling ones. Magic of Glorantha
is almost entirely about wielding these twisted imperial magics.
Well, and some other stuff. But Draconic Mysticism and God Learner Sorcery are the biggest chapters. And that's all I'm saying.