Gloranthan reality, and the need for answers.

From: Mikko Rintasaari <>
Date: Fri, 6 Oct 2000 00:44:33 +0300

I spouted:
> >I think the ultimate reality of Glorantha is impossible for a mortal (or
> >immortal) Gloranthan to understand. The belief systems of Gloranthan
> >religions and cultures are valuable (and not flawed) in that they offer a
> >working model for the people to interact and make sense of the world
> >around them.
> >
> >I as the GM, still need to understand what makes Glorantha tick behind the
> >scenes. I need to know both things, the belief system of the individual
> >and the underlying mechanics of Gloranthan reality.

Simon says:
> If mortal Gloranthans can't understand it, then what makes you think
> mortal earthlings like us can? Surely we're considerably less well
> equiped to understand it.

It's much easier to understand a system if one can examine it from the outside. I can understand the broad lines and central forces. The details spring from those.

> For the record, I actualy disagree and think
> that both mortal Gloranthans and mortal us can understand the metaphysical
> underpinnings of Glorantha, but that is no easier than it would be to
> fully understand the metaphysical philosophies of our world. It's the
> stuff doctorates of philosophy are made of.

Do you think somebody out there really knows how our world ticks? As far as I know, nobody does. We have some fair theories on parts of it, but the important stuff like the relation of the selfaware mind and the universe are big blanks. In Glorantha, I as a GM can know these things, but they will be very hard for anybody on the inside to work out.  

> The thing is, I don't feel that I need a doctorate in philosophy to
> run a game of Call of Cthulhu, or Nephilim, and I don't think I need
> one to run games in Glorantha. I don't think I ever will have a
> perfect understanding of Glorantha, or run a perfect game, but if
> some of the occasional games I do play in have a few perfect moments,
> that's enough.

That's true. It's the moments that make it worth while. (like seeing true fear on the faces of the gamers) :)  

> Elsewhere, Mikko says :
> >*non believing stare* Really? Personally I think it would make for better
> >gamemastering and lessen the number of gray hairs I get thinking of the
> >prezel that is the Sun of Glorantha.
> I simply don't see the problem. The adventurers in your games are
> Gloranthans, and as such all their experiences of Glorantha are
> subjective experiences. When I play a Gloranthan character, I know
> what his beliefs are, I have at least a rough understanding of what
> his cultural prejudices and expectations of the world are, and that's
> enough. Why would anyone, even a GM, need more?

Because I need to know what happens when the characters do something that isn't covered by the cultural data, or by published examples. In my campaign the silly characters managed to destroy a crystal that was the heart of a chaos tainted serpent god*. The heartstone had been sucking in every soul that had died in the area for the last thousand years, and when it all went up, the energy released was enough for a Gloranthan A-bomb. Except that energy was lifeforce and Will, with no guiding mind. I need to understand the gameworld so I can deduce what happens.   I try to run Glorantha as a world. I don't run adventures and scenarios. I run the world, and the playercharacters live their lives inside, come what may.  


*I honestly tought they would run away, when things started to get seriously weird. Instead they wanted to die heroic deaths trying to prevent this chaotic travesty. Then I expected them to die, but they didn't!! (only a few). They managed to stop the birth of a minor god of chaos (somebody was controlling the heartstone), and destroyed the entire city by doing it. But what an epic!

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