Re: Dice on the Titanic

From: Nick Brooke <>
Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 17:55:50 +0100

Richard appears to be erecting a Straw Man:

> The argument I was making was that you cannot "fully" role play your
> character ... You cannot say that someone's "achievement" gained through
> dice rolling is any less than an "achievement" gained without it ...
> Let's understand clearly what role (sic) [dice] play and what benefits
> they give us before we go too crazy throwing them out.

I do not recall any contrarian posts or camps insisting that we should all (i) "fully" role-play our characters (whatever that means); (ii) belittle achievements gained through mere die rolls; (iii) throw die-rolling out of our games.

The Questlines article referred to contrasts the merits of "dice and rule-driven roleplaying" versus a more "storytelling" style, examining which is more useful in producing Staffordian heroquests. I think John Hughes would be startled to learn he was excoriating all "dice-based" roleplaying: from context, it's clear he's pointing out a limitation of the form, situations where other approaches work better; not an overriding reason to junk dice altogether.

I suspect Richard is mostly arguing with himself. It *is* interesting to eavesdrop, though...

> The great compromise was put together to fight chaos -- so does that mean
> that Chaos gods are not bound by it?

No. The primary purpose of the Great Compromise is to bind Chaos: the forces of chaos are unwillingly affected by it whenever they enter Glorantha. Its effects on those deities who volunteered to form it can be seen as secondary to this. See the Cults of Terror "Cosmology" and early "History" (available at for more details.

If you like the Net metaphor, here's an extended remix: the gods collectively hold the edges of the Net, as they unanimously agreed to do, and Chaos is trapped within it. If one or more of the gods lets go of the Net ("exercising their free will"), then Chaos can escape through the disruption. All Chaos within Glorantha is "trapped" by the Great Compromise, by definition. And Chaos ouside Glorantha can only enter the world by simultaneously entering the Net which the gods are holding.

Mikko writes:

> I have always hated the way the Lunar cults have been reduced to
> duplicates of Theyalan ones.

I have to agree. Tales #16's Red Emperor was just "Orlanth in a Toga". And Danfive Xaron was, quite clearly, "Lanbril in Manacles". The imminently-forthcoming issue #17 will include Jakaleel the Witch, "Ernalda with a Cauldron", and Yanafal Tarnils, "Bent Humakt in a Uniform". Nothing interesting about any of them. Gods, how I hate myself for collaborating in these travesties!

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