Starting a Campaign in RofC/SC

From: Richard Develyn <>
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 1998 22:59:42 +0000

I'm beginning to piece together a strategy for a campaign in the River of Cradles / Sun County area and I wonder if you could help me out. I want to make my campaign as compatible with Gestalt Glorantha (my term for THE Glorantha) as possible.

PC Background

First of all I want to give my PCs a nice broad choice of character backgrounds yet at the same time construct some sensible way to get such a pot-pourri of people adventuring together. This is only ever a problem when you start out, after that, unless they all get wiped out, new characters of more or less any background can join what is after all a bunch of outcasts and drop-outs.

The mechanism I've thought for this is to use the nomad clans around the Weis Cut area, in particular those clans which use the Weis Cut as a way to bring their herds down to Zola Fel for grazing in the (probaly summer) months. Not including Morokanth, this means PCs can be Bison
(tough Waha/Eiritha traditionalists - I'm still working out the rest),
Impala, Sable, Agimori, Yelornan, etc.

I need to work out what clans are likely to be around the area and using the Weis Cut (the first area where I could do with help). Are there any that wouldn't be here, and roughly speaking what are the more common ones. I know that Morokanth and Agimori are dominant, though could you give me any guidelines how many of each other sort there may be. I shall want to be able to at least give each PC some account of his clan and its regular wanderings (most of the rest I can get from published material).

Secondly, I need to make some strong associations for each cult, so that PCs understand the sort of background that they have.

I've had a go at figuring out a large Bison clan, and I've tended to think of them as Waha/Eiritha traditionalists. The Rhino clan I might associate more with Storm Bull. Sables have Lunar connections now and Impalas seem open minded (cult-wise).

As well as basic survival there's all this shaman / spirit business. I can see I'm going to have to work out which spirits are likely to be worshiped where, roughly what the shaman distribution is and how easy it is to get spirit magic.

Not a lot of temples around apart from Horn Gate, I guess.

The Hook and The Theme

The way I wanted to get this motley group of PCs together, all from possibly different tribes, is to conceive of a threat to the route down to Weis Cut. It needn't be a huge threat, just enough of one to cause a problem which must be solved, and which no one clan wants to attempt to solve by itself. So, there's some huge meeting of the Khans, and they all agree to contribute some manpower to exploring / solving the problem. Some Khans will send off people they don't want, others people they do - either way, the group of adventurers is born.

(Is this corny - dunno :-) )

Now the way I would really like to do this is to make this initial adventure a hook into the over-all theme of the campaign, and I would like to make that theme relatively grand. I don't want every adventure to be linked, but I want this first one to be significant. The sort of thing I'm thinking about would be:

Discovering a very old temple. The ground near Weis Cut has given way near where the herd beasts come down. Something in there is making the herds very nervous and it's taking twice as long to make the journey
(some of the beasts are balking - one or two might even be falling off
on the way down). This old temple could date back to anything in the past for this area, and this first, nice easy to run adventure, will finish with the discovery of some artifact / parchment which the PCs will have to travel up to Sun Dome Temple to have analysed. All sorts of things will, of course, happen on the way. Furthermore, as well as the PCs bonding, they will probably also become tainted, so that life back with the clans loses its appeal.

The Theme, then, could be:

  1. something to do with an ancient cradle
  2. something to do with these old magics that existed in the area pre the arrival of the Sun Domers (could result in the expulsion of the Sun Domers - I'm referring to Book of Dras Res 2 p.7)
  3. something to do with the new cradle (if it gets stuck somewhere further down after all the major incidents upstream (is this possible?))
  4. something which results in a spring board for the next campaign (e.g. finding a medicine bundle, a significant part of Genert, ...)

This is where I need the greatest help. I'm willing to go for anything that fits in, that takes me around this area, and that ultimately results in some major quest being undertaken by the PCs. I reckon it's probably going to have to be post-Cradle (at least post initial Cradle), but otherwise I don't mind what.

I expect over the course of this campaign I shall use absolutely anything I can get my hands on, and I'm bound to mix in personalities from all the published stuff (which I have) in this area.

Once again, all help gratefully received. Please bear in mind that I'm likely to post quite a lot while I'm trying to get this sorted out.


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Richard Develyn

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