Re: Figure out the Big Questions for yourselves

From: Alex Ferguson <>
Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2000 19:17:46 +0100 (BST)

Mike Dawson writes:
> on 10/6/00 7:15 PM, Alex Furgeson wrote:

My evil twin, perhaps?

> In a game filled with magic, where the gods are constrained by an oath
> they'd rather not have taken, then the possibility for "Return to Apple
> Lane" to escalate into "Quest to the Heart of Storm" is there. As I said
> earlier in the post you quote, the thing I love most about games is when I
> or my players put widely disparate pieces of info together into a new
> understanding of why things are the way they are.

In a world where the gods may or may not have taken such an oath, and may or may not be bound by it, all depending on whom you ask, a bit of modesty of ambition about deciding what the ultimate truth is seems only prudent. A lot of these bunfights, it seems to me, start about a confusion of purpose between what's "universally" true in a particular game context. If the thrust of a particular campaign is going to take the truth of the Compromise as axiomatic, as probably is indeed so for most of them, all this guff about it "only" being a subjective truth in Glorantha as a whole is, at best, besides the point. It seems merely pragmatic to decide what _is_ going to be pertinent to the game narrative, and to couch one's "useful approximation" to Gloranthan truth in the round in those terms, surely.

> If GMs don't bother to figure out the Big Questions for themselves, then
> those GMs have no Big Answers for heroes to discover. Those games will be
> the poorer for it.

Completely backwards. If you're going to pre-determine, out of game, the "Big Answers", then IMO you can't help but limit the scope of the Questioning your game is able to explore. Certainly we should be able to agree that if Greg had set about doing this, then the entirely _game-world_ would be all the poorer, wouldn't it?

I know the idea that one's working model of the world should vary self-consciously according to what part of it you're playing in (gloranthographical part or figurative part) will doubtless simply attract more 'hard core objectivist' abuse, but no change there. IMO constructing approximations to the Truth is what one ends up doing in any event, the alternatives are simply to do so without realizing one is doing so, or to set up it in an unreasonably top-down manner, in both cases with the general net effect of "improving" Glorantha by limiting it.

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